Due to budget constraints, the state is looking for new and creative ways to cut funding from higher education. One of them includes a particularly ill-advised “credit cap.”
This proposal, set before the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Higher Education, would restrict the number of allowed credits to 132, just three courses over the required amount for graduation. Colorado students who exceeded that limit would lose in-state status and have to pay out-of-state tuition rates.
It’s an effort to save the state money by discharging students who stick around forever, waffling and never graduating.
This is an institution of higher learning. Students come to Colorado State largely because of the wide range of available classes. Punishing them for having broad interests, for taking classes that might conflict with the jobs they would have for the rest of their lives, is simply ludicrous.
CSU students are told at Preview that the average college student changes his or her major three times. If this initiative passes, incoming freshmen had better have clear future plans if they want to stay within this 132-credit limit.
A freshman who takes classes in one department for just one semester, and then changes his or her major, would already exceed the limit. This student, having fulfilled graduation requirements for classes outside his or her major, could not take any additional “extra” classes without having to pay an incredibly higher rate for them.
Thus the student is punished for having interests outside his or her chosen major. That is absurd.
CSU students currently pay the same tuition for between nine and 22 credits. Perhaps the school could start charging per credit over a certain limit, such as 16 or 18. It’s not a great idea, but it would make more money, which seems to be the primary issue here.
It’s true that the state is short on cash; it is a disturbing problem that must be solved. But charging in-state students exorbitant rates just because they have diverse interests is not the solution.