The CU Board of Regents on Friday unanimously passed a $4.5 billion operating budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year that includes modest tuition increases and a 3 percent salary pool.
Tuition and fees for typical undergraduates will increase 1.22 percent at CU Denver, 2.57 percent at CU Colorado Springs and 3.71 percent at CU Boulder for freshmen and transfer students. The guarantee of no tuition increase remains in place for continuing students at CU Boulder.
With the elimination of some course and program fees, many CU Boulder students will see a decline in costs, which will vary from $1 to $1,200 with a $34 average, said Todd Saliman, vice president for budget and finance and chief financial officer. CU Denver students also will see an average $43 decline in fees and CU Colorado Springs students will see fees increase by nearly $22.
The low tuition increase and the largest salary pool in three years is the result of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s state budget proposal, which he signed into law in April. State higher education institutions are set to receive $82.2 million; CU’s portion is $18.9 million.
Regent Glen Gallegos said the budget reflects appropriate growth for the university, but said there are still issues around the state related to perceptions of affordability that CU should address.
“One of the things we have been talking a lot about is affordability, but I think when you’re out with the public, they still think affordability is a problem,” Gallegos said.
He asked the budget office for the data that backs the assertion that Colorado ranks 48th nationally in state funding for higher education. The data comes from the State Higher Education Executive Officers, a national group that compares state funding across several consistent cost categories. Saliman said he is confident of the data’s accuracy, while Gallegos said those he has spoken with are equally confident that Colorado is not so poorly funded.
The board also saw a video the budget office produced that provides a basic overview of the sources and uses of CU’s budget.