The cost of a four-year degree from a Colorado public school is now astronomical.
The University of Colorado and Colorado State University estimate tuition, tuition, accommodation, and books to be approximately $ 30,000 for the academic year. A Colorado student who graduates in four years will have spent $ 120,000.
Tuition fees should have increased at the same rate as inflation. However, Elizabeth Hernandez of the Denver Post reported that between 2011 and 2021, tuition fees at four-year colleges in Colorado rose 36% adjusted for inflation.
Hernandez also reported last week that student loans are so overwhelming that students are now turning to an algorithm to figure out how much they should pay before reverting to income-based minimum payment plans. A physiotherapist with a doctorate from CU Anschutz Medical Campus told Hernandez that she owed over $ 100,000, paid $ 500 a month based on her income, and was not reducing growing debt.
Colorado can do better and stop the out of control tuition growth. Nationally, in recent years, the trend has been for private and public colleges to reduce their tuition fees, with some institutions offering discounts when their schools have switched to an online-only format during the pandemic. Going forward, we believe that a paradigm shift is needed with higher education focused on economy, value and efficiency.
Boards that run both CU and CSU should have rejected tuition fee increases for the 2022-2023 school years when they voted this spring and demanded that the expected deficit be met through budget cuts, missed increases and non-essential vacant positions. Two out of six regents opposed the tuition increase for CU.
If tuition goes up 3% at the University of Colorado, professors shouldn’t go up 3%, damn morale.
Times are tight in higher education, and the harsh reality is that people are not getting a raise. Hernandez reported last week that the board of regents that governs the $ 5.2 billion budget for four campuses is insisting on a projected budget deficit of $ 117.4 million in 2025. The solution proposed by the elected regents is to ‘Increase tuition fees, again, only this time for students studying biology and chemistry and other science degrees that are expensive to administer and have high earning potential. Engineering and business degrees are already more expensive than other arts and science degrees.
The anticipated shortfall and the proposed solutions do not send us the signal that it is time to distribute increases.
We understand that non-teaching employees are tied to the state and that the university is required to provide them with the 3% increase that was included in the last budget of lawmakers. But mandatory increases for some employees don’t mean faculty should automatically get a raise at the expense of students.
Both universities have done a good job of preventing tuition fee increases in recent years. CSU’s tuition has not increased for three years and CU’s for four years. Additionally, CU students’ tuition fees are locked in during their freshman years, so the cost will not increase for four years.
We cannot congratulate the two universities enough on their recent decisions to protect students from pay raises, and we realize the pandemic was overwhelming – students delayed enrollment, slashing income, with employees earning over 60 $ 000 suffered a 5% pay cut and some employees were put on 12 day leave.
Employees statewide have faced layoffs, time off and pay cuts during the nationwide shutdown to slow or stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. The economy is roaring again, but many employees have not been cured. Now is not the time to increase salaries at institutions that are likely to feel the lasting effects on enrollments and also the increased costs associated with COVID-19 testing and protocols.
Metropolitan State University is taking the right approach. The university, already one of the most affordable 4-year colleges in the state, has pledged not to increase tuition fees. MSU received more money from the state than ever this year, but in reality it was in an attempt to reverse historic underfunding compared to other colleges in the state. MSU is waiting to see how enrollment and income lands next year before the promising faculty increases.
– Denver Post Editorial Board, June 21