The University of Colorado Board of Regents on Tuesday approved tuition rates for the 2009-10 academic year that are a hybrid of percentage increases and structural changes to per-credit-hour pricing.
The regents voted 8-1 on rates, with Regent Tom Lucero (R-Loveland) dissenting. Increases, which vary by campus and program, all fall below the 9 percent cap set by the state. Tuition rates vary by program across CU's campuses, but are generally 3.9 percent at the Boulder campus; 5 percent at the Colorado Springs campus; 1.2 - 1.7 percent at the downtown Denver campus.
Non-resident tuition will increase 5 percent at Boulder, 2 percent at Colorado Springs and 1.5 percent at Denver. "I always struggle with these tuition rate increases because I have a heart for students who are working and putting themselves through college," said Regent Stephen Ludwig (D-Lone Tree).
The regents considered five options for tuition rates (ranging from no increase to a 7 percent increase) before deciding on the model that is a combination of structure and rate changes. The increases are modest compared to those of recent years. Tuition increases for resident undergraduates topped out at 9 percent in 2008-09 and 14.6 percent in 2007-08.
"My preference is a zero percent tuition increase," Lucero said. "I just feel like, again, this is the wrong time to be raising tuition."
Under the new rates, average increases for full-time resident undergraduate students in Arts and Sciences disciplines are $262 at Boulder, $108 at Colorado Springs and $114 at Denver.
"The changes reflect our desire to keep the University of Colorado as affordable as possible for our students and their families during these difficult economic times," said CU President Bruce D. Benson.
Each campus will continue progress toward a linear tuition structures to bring CU in line with the federal definition of a full-time student (12 credit hours per semester). For example, students at the Boulder campus are now considered full time if they take 10.5 hours. There is no additional charge for credits taken beyond that. Boulder will increase from 10.5 credit hours for a full-time student to 11; Colorado Springs will implement the third year of its move toward charging for every credit taken; the downtown Denver campus will implement its structure to 12.
The change in linearity will not affect the full-time status definition for financial aid and other policies.