CCHE to consider financial aid, higher ed master plan, performance contracts

By Staff

The Colorado Commission on Higher Education is expected to adopt financial aid allocations and consider a master plan for Colorado's colleges and universities at its June 4 meeting at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.

The University of Colorado is expected to receive $20.6 million in state financial aid for fiscal year 2009-10, down some $600,000 from this year's allocation. CU will generate an additional $98.6 million in institutional financial aid.

The state will allocate approximately $93.3 million in financial aid to Colorado's 26 colleges and universities, up from $90 million last year, of which CU received 22 percent.

The CCHE will also discuss a proposal to develop a comprehensive plan for the state's public higher education institutions. The plan would examine roles and missions for colleges and universities and articulate a standard funding formula. The Colorado Department of Higher Education, or DHE, would lead the project in conjunction with institutions. The process is expected to take 18 months.

"We have some concerns about the broad scope of the project," said CU President Bruce D. Benson. "And as always, we worry about where the funding will come from to meet current or new strategic needs."

The CCHE is also expected to act on a DHE recommendation to extend performance contracts by two years, through the 2010-11 academic year. The plans, developed in 2005, are agreements between institutions and the state that establish funding levels and accountability measures in the delivery of graduate and professional programs.