CSU System Board Approves Budgets, Tuition and Fees

Note to Reporters: The tuition and fees tables illustrating the increases per campus are available with the news release at http://www.news.colostate.edu/.

The Colorado State University System Board of Governors today voted to accept the budget and tuition proposals submitted by the CSU campuses, effective July 1, 2010.

The respective campus operating budgets for fiscal year 2011 are as follows: CSU in Fort Collins is $771.2 million (FY2010 $799.7 million); CSU-Pueblo is $80.2 million (FY2010 $74.8 million); and the CSU System office is $4.5 million (FY2010 $4.5 million). CSU-Global Campus will submit its budget proposal for final approval at the CSU System Board of Governors meeting in August.

Tuition and Fees

The board approved a 9 percent tuition increase for resident undergraduates at CSU in Fort Collins and CSU-Pueblo. CSU-Global Campus will not increase its current per credit hour rate.

General fees for resident undergraduates at CSU in Fort Collins will increase about $200. At CSU-Pueblo, resident undergraduates will see fees increase about $55 from last year. These fees are approved by the student governments of each campus to help fund a range of specific fee-based services, such as technology, student recreation and facilities.

The budget plans of each campus demonstrate the cost-saving measures taken and a system-wide commitment to focusing resources on student access and academic quality, which are top priorities for the CSU System Board of Governors. As part of the CSU System’s strategic plan, the board continues to explore funding models that will provide long-term fiscal stability for the campuses.

“The board is absolutely focused on preserving access and protecting quality,” said Joe Blake, CSU System chancellor. “Until a sustainable funding solution for public higher education is found, the budget process moving ahead will be a growing challenge with balancing access with the realities of financing higher education.”

Over the last two years, cuts to higher education funding in the state have been restored with federal stimulus dollars. However after this fiscal year, those federal funds will no longer be available, and CSU could see a permanent base cut of $33 million depending on how state revenues recover from the current economic downturn.

Gov. Ritter has created a steering committee to specifically address the major challenges facing Colorado’s higher-education systems and create a blueprint to ensure the state’s colleges and universities are accessible, affordable, accountable and of the highest quality for decades to come. One of the key outcomes expected from this study group includes viable options for creating a sustainable funding source for higher education.

Last week, CSU announced a ground-breaking financial aid program called CSU’s Commitment to Colorado, which will enable students from low- to middle-income families to afford pursuing college degrees at one of the CSU campuses through financial aid packages depending on household incomes.

The Commitment to Colorado is funded primarily though expense reductions, previous financial aid investments and donor-directed scholarships, including those funds in the Campaign for Colorado State, which is for the Fort Collins campus.

At the Fort Collins campus, Colorado families making less than $57,000 a year in adjusted gross income (the state’s median family income) will pay half the undergraduate tuition rate; and resident students who are eligible for Pell Grants will have state tuition and mandatory fees covered through financial aid.

At the Pueblo campus, Colorado families who are eligible for Pell Grants and who make less than $50,000 a year will have state tuition and mandatory fees covered through financial aid.

As part of the CSU Commitment to Colorado, CSU-Global Campus has offered guaranteed admission for students who have an associate’s degree from an accredited college, as well as guaranteed tuition rates for continuously enrolled students through graduation.

Chancellor Blake complimented the campus presidents for their persistence in their cost-saving measures and diligence with exploring new revenue sources outside tuition and outside state financial assistance. Blake reported that as a result of these efforts the CSU three-campus system has saved an estimated $55 million over the last two years alone.

The Colorado State University System is comprised of three campuses with distinct roles and missions. The campuses serve the state, region, country and world, educating about 31,000 new and returning scholars annually. Highly skilled graduates number more than 7,300 a year, and more than 198,000 alumni live throughout the state, nation and world. The system involves a total operating budget of $870 million, with annual research expenditures totaling $328 million.