Jun 242010
 
Authors: Jordyn Dahl

Tuition and fees will increase 10.2 percent next year for CSU resident undergraduate students after the CSU System Board of Governors approved the 2011 fiscal year budget on Wednesday.

The budget includes a 9-percent increase in tuition for undergraduate residents as well as a 3 percent increase for non-residents at both the Fort Collins and Pueblo campuses.

Fees for undergraduates will also increase $203 for full-time resident undergraduates at CSU-Fort Collins, bringing the overall tuition and fee increase to 10.2 percent. The changes go into effect on July 1.

Amid a still-struggling state economy and depleting state funds for Colorado’s higher education system, the operating budget for the Fort Collins campus will be slashed $28.5 million, or 3.5 percent, from $799.7 million to $771.2 million.

Contrasted with the large cut to the CSU-Fort Collins Budget, the CSU-Pueblo’s operating budget will increase $5.4 million, or 7.2 percent, from $74.8 million to $80.2 million, while the CSU System office budget will hold steady at $4.5 million dollars, the same amount it was allotted for the 2010 fiscal year.

“We had decreased our budget by 11 percent last year, so we’re maintaining that status quo,” said Michelle McKinney, spokeswoman for the BOG.

For the last two years, gaps in state funding for Colorado’s higher education institutions have been plugged with federal stimulus dollars, but those dollars are slated to run out after 2011 –– what some higher education advocates have called a funding cliff. That cliff could amount to a permanent base cut of $33 million for CSU depending on how state revenues recover from the economic recession that continues to wrack the country.

With the fear that further future cost cutting could threaten student access to education and the quality of that education at CSU, the budget press release said CSU will continue to explore funding models that could provide long-term financial stability to its campuses.

“Until a sustainable funding solution for public higher education is found, the budget process moving ahead will be a growing challenge with balancing access with the realities of funding higher education,” CSU Chancellor Joe Blake said in the press release.

Staff writer Jordyn Dahl can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 11:42 am