Board Approves CSU Budget for FY 2011-12

The Board of Governors of the Colorado State University System Monday approved CSU’s budget which results in a $433 million 2011-12 educational and general budget for Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

Colorado State’s year-long budget process provided students, faculty and staff opportunities to review proposals and offer feedback through several presentations, open forums and e-mail communications. From this public process, a final budget proposal was provided to the Board of Governors for approval.

The education and general budget does not include self-funded programs, external grants and contracts, and other funding sources that make up the university’s entire revenues of approximately $800 million. For an example, the approximate $300 million in research funding — that can solely be used for those research activities and not for the education and general budget — is included in the $800 million total.

Reductions in State Funding and Cost-Cutting Measures

Due to the state’s economic downturn, CSU will receive $23 million less in state support in FY 2011-12 than it did the year before. In three years, nearly $39 million in state funding for CSU has been cut.

To manage the impact of these budget reductions, starting in 2008, the university began significantly cutting expenses, froze salaries, and decided to only hire for jobs critical to the institution. As a result, CSU has trimmed its already-lean workforce by 350 positions, approximately 6 percent of its workforce. Additionally, FY 2011-12 marks the third consecutive year in which employees will receive no salary increases.

These proactive savings and cuts have helped balance the university’s budget while keeping tuition increases reasonable. Without those efforts, resident tuition would have had to increase by much higher rates.

Tuition Increases

Due to the significant reductions in state funding, even with the university’s cost-saving measures, in order to preserve the quality of a Colorado State education and degree the board approved the planned tuition increases for FY 2011-12. Colorado State is getting in line with peers nationally and charging 12 credit hours for full-time tuition rather than the 10 hours it previously charged. This credit-hour closure results in a 20 percent increase for resident undergraduate students.

Other tuition increases approved include: 3 percent for non-resident undergraduates; 7.5 percent for resident graduate students; 3 percent for non-resident graduates; and 9 percent for professional veterinary medicine students.

Fiscal year 2011-12 annual tuition rates for CSU follow:
– Resident undergraduate – $6,307
– Non-resident undergraduate – $22,007
– Resident graduate – $7,992
– Non-resident graduate $19, 592

Fees at Colorado State were held steady by a less than one percent increase for FY 2011-12. General fees for undergraduates will increase $6 to $1,645.

Commitment to Financial Aid and Accessibility

Colorado State has a strong commitment to provide financial aid to ensure opportunities for all qualified students. For the last four years, financial aid is the largest discretionary portion of CSU’s budget, with $8.6 million added this year.

Through programs like the “Commitment to Colorado,” CSU is working to ensure an education remains affordable and accessible to low-and middle-income students and their families.

Colorado students who do not qualify for the Commitment to Colorado might still be eligible for other types of scholarships and aid due to the ongoing Campaign for Colorado State, which is raising $500 million in private gifts to help keep a CSU education affordable and of the highest quality.

CSU’s Remains a Good Value

Colorado State remains among the most affordable universities among its in- and out-of-state peers. Colorado State’s tuition rates rank in the bottom third of peer universities across the nation, and are well below the average tuition of in-state peer institutions: more than $1,300 less than CU-Boulder and over $5,200 less than the Colorado School of Mines.

Controlling Costs

The university does a good job of controlling its costs while staying focused on academic excellence. For example, Colorado State today educates a student for 4 percent less in inflation-adjusted dollars than it did 20 years ago.

What has changed is that 20 years ago, two-thirds of the cost of a CSU education was paid for by the state. Today, that ratio has flipped — individual students and their families pay for two-thirds of the cost, with the state paying one-third.