Colorado State University's school colors never seemed so fitting. It is going to take more green from the bank or gold from the treasure chest to attend CSU next semester.
Student tuition and certain fees will increase as the CSU Board of Governors approved the proposed budget by a vote of 8-1 last Wednesday in Denver.
In-state undergraduate tuition will rise 15 percent, while in-state graduate students will see a 9 percent rise. All out-of-state student tuition will increase 6 percent.
The last time a tuition hike was in the double digits for in-state students was in 1985. Only two years ago, tuition increased 12.2 percent for out-of-state students. Last school year, tuition only rose 1.1 percent for all students.
The increase in tuition last year for CSU students was so low because the state used tobacco settlement money to prevent a large increase in tuition.
"Given the cuts to CSU's budget and state higher education funding over the last several years, increases to our tuition rates are absolutely critical," said CSU President Larry Penley in a message posted on the university's Web site. "This is not our first choice, but I believe it is our only choice."
Along with tuition hikes, the budget will increase faculty pay by 4.3 percent. The board also approved for students to pay fees for certain colleges, high-cost programs or popular courses, upper-division courses and building maintenance.
Full-time resident undergraduates will owe $441 more than last year, while out-of-state undergraduates will owe $816. In-state graduate students will pay $304 more, while out-of-state graduate students will pay $849.
Students in the College of Business will pay $19 per credit hour, and those enrolled in the College of Engineering and the Department of Computer Science will pay $12.50 per credit hour. About a 5.1 increase will be assessed to students in the veterinary school. A student will be charged $6 for high-cost or popular courses and $2 for upper-division courses (course numbers 300 through 499). Both of these fees will be paid per credit hour.
CSU students had mixed reactions about the new tuition increases and student fees.
"I definitely think it's worth it, the teachers need a raise, you know they don't get paid enough," said Eric Mayer, a senior environmental engineering major from Colorado Springs. "Last year they used the tobacco money and it was kind of like putting a patch on a huge hole."
Because Mayer is an engineering major, he will be charged an additional $12.50 per credit hour, but that is fine with him he said.
"Again, I think it's worth it, you know it's inevitable tuition is going to go up," Mayer said. "I don't like how everyone is making a big stink out of it now, so yeah, I definitely support it."
Claudia Farfan-Lorono, an international senior economics major from Mexico, thinks the university needs to be clearer on where the new revenue will go within the university and tell students what it goes towards.
"I am out-of-state so I already pay a lot as it is," Farfan-Lorono said. "It sucks 'cause it's going up, but it's also my last semester so I think that's why I'm like 'whatever, just let me finish.'"
One student at CSU is not surprised at all by the increase.
"Unfortunate as it is to have this happen I think most of the students are getting pretty used to hearing about it and getting used to expecting an increase every year," said Stephanie Kittrell, a senior national resources recreation and tourism major from Aurora, Colo.
"No one ever wants to hear they're going to have to pay more money to get their education that they have already been getting," Kittrell said. "So it is not as much a shock anymore to get an increase I think, but I still definitely don't like it to happen, I don't really support it."
Associated Students of CSU and its President Courtney Stephens, a senior political science major, agree with the tuition increase and have decided all the student fees were good, as ASCSU is involved in deciding what the fees should be set at.
"We never want to ever raise tuition, but due to the dire financial circumstances at this university, we believe the increase is needed," Stephens said.
The budget will add 10 new faculty members since 76 faculty positions have been terminated in the past three years. CSU also will be adding five new police officers to its force.
Compared to peer institutions, CSU will still be viewed as a low-tuition university said CSU Spokesman Brad Bohlander. The other institutions being compared to CSU include Michigan State University, University of Missouri, Oregon State University and Oklahoma State University. The list is comprised of 12 universities throughout the United States and is set forth by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education.
During the 2004-2005 school year, CSU was the least expensive university in the list of 12 institutions for in-sate students, but it was not the cheapest for out-of-state students. Texas A & M University, Washington State University and Kansas State University were among the universities cheaper than CSU for out-of-state students.
Bohlander said tuition revenue will increase by 11.9 percent and generate an increase of $18.1 million in revenue, of which about $15.9 million will go toward budgetary purposes.
"Colorado State simply must take action now to prevent any additional cuts and ensure the top-quality academic environment and education that makes a Colorado State University degree such a valuable asset," President Penley said in his Internet statement. The President also noted that 20 percent of the new revenue would directly fund need-based financial aid.
The board also approved a new mandatory student facility fee, which will charge $10 per credit hour. For example, if a full-time student, regardless if the student is in-state or out-of-state, is taking 15 credit hours per semester, the amount owed to CSU would be $150 for one semester or $300 for the entire school year. ASCSU passed the new fee last April as the money acquired will go toward maintenance and facilities construction. The board did not change the University Technology fee, as every student will still pay $15.
"We really are going to be quite a bargain for such a good school," Bohlander said. "A lot of the things we're doing here will improve the academic quality at this university."