When state funding goes down, tuition must go up.
Itâ€™s simple math, really.
President Tony Frank and his budgeting team have been cranking away at the financial control panel, experimenting with various combinations of cuts â€“â€“ and only cuts â€“â€“ to balance CSUâ€™s budget.
And in a time when allocations from Capitol Hill are quickly slipping away, the administration has to make some tough decisions to maintain the integrity of its institution.
On Friday, Frank announced that tuition for some CSU students could increase almost 30 percent through a university-wide system called differential tuition. This means some upper-division students, depending on their academic college, may pay more for classes in high demand, ones that require more money to teach and ones students particularly value like high-end professional courses.
This too, makes sense.
We are consumers of a product â€“â€“ our educations. In economics, when demand increases, higher cost follows. Itâ€™s how people make money.
Students of the sciences have access to multi-million, world-renown tabletop microscopes, human cadavers and engines laboratories. Compare this to the history and philosophy majors with their books and conversations, at most.
This system becomes essential when Colorado could cut higher education funding from 2010â€™s figure of $555 million to $500 million in the next fiscal year.
If the $555 million projection holds true, CSU will have to cut its budget by 5 percent, or $11.5 million. That cut will increase to about $23 million if funding dries to $500 million.
So, as Frank has said, itâ€™s picking between the lesser of two evils. He can choose either to pick money from the pockets of already struggling departments, diminishing the quality and diversity of education offered by his land-grant school or take more from the students who benefit from that education.
For now â€“â€“ even if it means a tuition increase â€“â€“ weâ€™re willing to give what we can to keep CSU alive.