CSU undergraduate students are paying 16 percent more for tuition than they were last year, according to university officials.
The university increased actual tuition by $85, which constitutes 2.5 percent of the cost hike, according to a Colorado Commission on Higher Education report. But they also decided to bring the full-time requirement up from nine credit hours to 10, which added $202 to the college price tag per semester.
This makes CSU’s tuition hike nearly 10 percent larger than the national average, which is 6.6 percent.
“If you look at the national average . most universities charge 12 full-time credit hours,” said Brad Bohlander, a CSU spokesman.
He said that in light of massively decreased state funding, the university had to catch up to other national institutions.
The university kept the requirement at nine credit hours long after the standard was moved to 12 by most institutions. CSU needed to change to be at par with most schools, Bohlander said.
“We have leadership that is not going to let the university deteriorate,” Bohlander said.
If CSU assessed tuition at 12 credits, students would be paying about $1,200 more this year.
Out-of-state students have carried the burden more than most students.
Microbiology senior Aaron Pride of Oregon said the increase has imposed unexpected financial obstacles in the way of his education. His grandparents had put $20,000 away for him before he went to school. He also had a Western Undergraduate Education scholarship.
He expected these funds to pay for his education, but he ended up spending $14,000 of it his first year.
“You think that $20,000 is a lot of money,” he said.
With tuition in Colorado increasing sharply to keep up with waning state funding, inflation and improvement of other institution, students like Pride have had to make up for short funds by taking out more loans.
“I’ve had to get loans,” Pride said. “I wasn’t expecting to get loans.”
He said that he received an unexpected $500 bill from CSU at the beginning of the semester for extra fees. He said this is less than the extra money asked from in-state students.
“The more they raise tuition, the more it’s gonna suck for out-of-state students,” Pride said.
He also said the school could save students money by reallocating funds like the money they used to build the new microbiology lounge to something better.
“That stuff is cool,” he said, “(but) I’d rather see that money go into improving academics.”
Pride’s fiancé, who didn’t wish to be named, said the increases are taking money from personal goals.
“It’s been particularly difficult since I’ve been trying to save for my wedding next summer,” she said. “I’ve had to cut hundreds of dollars from the (wedding) funds.”
Senior reporter Aaron Hedge can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.