Zero tuition increase for CSU in-state undergrads as System board approves budget, tuition and fees

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Mike Hooker
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Tuition will remain unchanged next year for Colorado resident undergraduate students at Colorado State University as part of the newly approved incremental budget and tuition proposals for the CSU System. The Board of Governors of the CSU System today approved the proposals for the System’s three campuses and System Office for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2019.

The 0% increase for resident undergrads at CSU and CSU-Pueblo is accompanied by a 3% increase for non-resident and graduate students and no tuition increase at CSU-Global. Tuition for CSU’s top-ranked Professional Veterinary Medicine Program will increase 5%.

Through this budget, the institutions of the CSU System – CSU, CSU-Pueblo and CSU-Global – will continue making investments to help students achieve even greater academic success, investing in faculty and staff to bolster teaching and research, and building resources to take advantage of the collaborative strengths and projects of the entire CSU System.

“Zero tuition increase is welcome news for our in-state undergrads as we work to keep higher education attainable for Colorado residents, because we know it is a good investment that pays real dividends,” said Tony Frank, chancellor of the CSU System and president of CSU. “CSU greatly appreciates the support of Gov. Polis and the legislature, and the previous support of Gov. Hickenlooper, which has allowed us to plan for investments in compensation for our faculty and staff who are challenged by increasing cost of living, and also investments in new teaching and research positions – all with the aim of building on the quality of the education and research CSU delivers to our students and to the state.”

CSU Campus FY-19 Tuition FY-20 Tuition Dollar Increase Percent Change
Fort Collins1        
Resident, Undergraduate $9,426 $9,426 $0 0%
Non-resident, Undergraduate $27,327 $28,147 $820 3%
Resident, Graduate $10,214 $10,520 $306 3%
Non-resident, Graduate $25,040 $25,791 $751 3%
Undergraduate – Per Credit Hour $350 $350 $0 0%
Graduate – Per Credit Hour $500 $500 $0 0%
Resident, Undergraduate $6,349 $6,349 $0 0%
Non-resident, Undergraduate $19,086 $19,658 $572 3%
Resident, Graduate $7,316 $7,535 $219 3%
Non-resident, Graduate $21,751 $22,404 $653 3%
1Annualized based on 12 credit hours/semester

2Per credit hour rate

“Higher education is a smart investment for Colorado that results in billions of dollars of benefit to our state’s economy as CSU graduates successfully enter the workforce, and as CSU’s research sparks successful startups and life-improving innovations,” said Rico Munn, chair of the Board of Governors of the CSU System. “This budget – thanks to the support of the legislature and the governor – allows us to push forward in advancing the ways we teach and do research, helping students keep down the cost of earning a degree, while simultaneously boosting the value of that degree.”

In FY20, state funding will provide about 11.8% of the university’s budget in Fort Collins, which also relies heavily on philanthropic donations. With $152.7 million in giving to CSU last year, it marked the seventh consecutive year philanthropy has topped state support, and the fifth consecutive year philanthropic giving to CSU surpassed the $150 million mark. This generosity propelled CSU’s current “State Your Purpose” campaign beyond $1 billion and a year ahead of schedule. The combination of state funding and philanthropic giving allows resident tuition to remain unchanged and limits increases for other students in FY20, while CSU also makes strong investments.

Full-time annual resident undergraduate tuition at CSU will remain at $9,426 in FY20, a zero increase over the previous year. That remains below proposed in-state tuition rates at peer institutions such as the University of California-Davis, Washington State University, Virginia Tech and the University of Illinois. For a Colorado comparison, resident undergraduate tuition at CU-Boulder for incoming students in FY20 will remain at $10,730. CSU-Pueblo is similarly positioned among its peer institutions.

At CSU-Pueblo, the unchanged annual resident undergraduate tuition will remain at $6,349 for the coming year. The per-credit-hour undergraduate tuition rate at CSU-Global, which receives no state funding, will hold steady, unchanged for the eighth consecutive year, at a maximum of $350 per credit hour ($4,200 per semester per 12 credit hours). CSU-Global tuition is the same regardless of residency status.

Student fees at CSU will be $2,351 next year, up 3.1% or $70, from the previous year, and student fees at CSU-Pueblo will be $2,058, a 4% increase of $80. These fees are approved by the respective student governments of each campus to help fund a range of specific services, such as student recreation, the student health network, and facilities. CSU-Global, which is a 100% online university, does not charge student fees.

“CSU-Global is committed to high quality, affordable, and accessible higher education,” said Becky Takeda-Tinker, president of CSU-Global. “Our mission to facilitate career success for modern learners in a global marketplace is boosted by our ability to help our students financially plan to achieve their degree and certificate. We are pleased to be able to maintain our standard undergraduate and graduate rates for the eighth year in a row with the added benefits of no student fees and a tuition guarantee that locks in a student’s tuition rate until graduation.”

Other budget items
At CSU in Fort Collins, the budget provides more than $6.7 million of additional support for student financial aid. It also includes average pay increases of 4% for faculty and administrative professional staff and 3% for state classified staff, with $20.6 million budgeted toward those increases. The budget also includes $3.5 million for academic incentive funding, $4.2 million for mandatory costs such as utilities, operations and maintenance, library subscriptions, insurance, benefits, etc., and $5.5 million for strategic initiatives and quality enhancements.

“Our investments with this budget will give particular focus to supporting additional financial aid for students, and to supporting the salaries of our faculty and staff. This will help students take advantage of the wonderful opportunities here at CSU – this is central to our land grant mission – and treats the members of our campus community well with respect to their compensation, which is one of our highest priorities,” said Rick Miranda, CSU’s provost and executive vice president. “We will also continue our investments in new faculty positions, boosting our academic programs and research strength. This will put these resources to work both for the experience our students have at CSU, and for the value of their CSU degree.”

CSU Campus FY20
Student Fees
Tuition + Fees
Percent Change
CSU $9,426 $2,351 $11,777 $70 0.6%
CSU-Pueblo $6,349 $2,058 $8,407 $80 0.95%

The president of CSU-Pueblo, Timothy Mottet, said this budget allows the university to invest in affordability for students, and in academic programs and salaries, while also continuing to leverage partnerships with the other institutions in the CSU System, furthering CSU-Pueblo’s important mission of teaching, research and service in Southern Colorado.

“We are thankful for the strong support of the CSU Board of Governors. We are also pleased that the General Assembly has invested in higher education to keep the cost of attendance low,” Mottet said. “With these funds, the CSU-Pueblo budget is balanced, and we were able to do so without an increase in resident undergraduate tuition. During the past year, we were required to make difficult decisions to align expenses and revenues. Despite these challenges, CSU-Pueblo is committed to investing in our future. To that end, the FY20 budget includes funds for institutional aid for our students, funds for academic programs, and funds for adjustments to the compensation for our faculty and staff as we continue building on the outstanding value of a degree from CSU-Pueblo.”

The budget also includes $11.6 million to leverage the collective strengths of all three CSU institutions and to carry out the strategic vision of the Board of Governors via the CSU System Office. The System will also continue to allocate time and professional resources to the campuses and promote the efficiencies and cost-savings of having a strong System. This investment total, which includes new resources of $3.6 million, reflects the restoration of a full-time chancellor and chief financial officer, legal, audit and information technology resources, and resources to fund new programmatic initiatives, notably the National Western Center. These investments will allow the CSU System to give additional focus to key System programs and capabilities while still allowing the System to remain smaller than system investments at other public research universities.

The resulting FY20 operating budgets for each unit, as compared to FY19, are projected as follows:

Campus FY20 FY19
CSU $1.32 billion $1.22 billion
CSU-Global Campus $109.8 million $94.5 million (revised)
CSU-Pueblo $86.0 million $86.0 million
CSU System Office $11.6 million $7.9 million

About the CSU System

The Board of Governors of the CSU System has nine voting members, appointed by the governor and confirmed by the State Senate, and six non-voting members who are faculty and student representatives from CSU, CSU-Pueblo and the CSU-Global. The board provides oversight to ensure effective management, accountability and leadership at all the CSU System universities – Fort Collins, Pueblo and the online institution Global.