CSU System board approves budget, tuition and fees

Budget and tuition adjustments at Colorado State University, CSU-Pueblo and the CSU-Global Campus for the fiscal year beginning July 1 became final today upon passage of Colorado’s state budget.

At its May 2 meeting, the Board of Governors of the CSU System had voted to approve the incremental budget and tuition levels for the coming year contingent on passage of a State budget at anticipated levels for higher education.

“We are in a position to continue making judicious and meaningful investments in our institutions across the CSU System thanks to a third consecutive year of continued support for higher education by the General Assembly and the Governor,” said Tony Frank, chancellor of the CSU system and president of CSU. “For example, at CSU in Fort Collins we are making new investments in financial aid for students, and in compensation for faculty and staff, with an important focus on investing to achieve salary equity across the university, and investing in improvements for non-tenure track faculty.”

Table 1

CSU Campus FY2017 Tuition FY2018 Tuition $ Increase % Change
CSU in Fort Collins1
Resident Undergraduate $8,716 $9,152 $436 5%
Non-resident Undergraduate $26,010 $26,660 $650 2.5%
Resident Graduate $9,628 $9,917 $289 3%
Non-resident Graduate $23,603 $24,312 $709 3%
CSU-Global Campus2
Undergraduate – per credit hour $350 $350 $0 0%
Graduate – per credit hour $500 $500 $0 0%
CSU-Pueblo Campus1
Resident Undergraduate $5,815 $6,164 $349 6%
Non-resident Undergraduate $17,480 $18,530 $1,050 6%
Resident Graduate $6,701 $7,103 $402 6%
Non-resident Graduate $19,923 $21,118 $1,195 6%

1 Annualized based on 12 credit hours per semester

2 Per credit hour rate

This year state lawmakers again avoided cutting funding to higher education, which resulted in general fund appropriations of $138.4 million to the CSU System.

“This is money well-spent on behalf of the taxpayers. The state sees a 13-to-1 return in higher tax revenue alone for each CSU graduate, and in Colorado it takes less than three years for the average college grad to repay the state’s investment in their education,” said Bill Mosher, chair of the CSU System Board of Governors. “The investment which the State of Colorado makes in higher education adds clear and significant value for the people of the state.”

State funding provides only about 10.5 percent of the university’s budget in Fort Collins. By comparison, philanthropic support totaled $197.8 million last year, marking the fifth consecutive year philanthropy has topped state support. The fifth year of record fundraising set records for both academic ($166 million) and athletics ($31.8 million) support.

Annual resident undergraduate tuition at CSU will be $9,152 in FY2018, a $436 increase over FY2017. That remains below proposed in-state tuition rates at peer institutions such as University of California-Davis, Purdue, Washington State, Virginia Tech and the University of Illinois. For a Colorado comparison, resident undergraduate tuition at CU-Boulder in liberal arts for FY2018 will be $10,248.

At CSU-Pueblo, annual resident undergraduate tuition will be $6,164 for FY2018 (based on 12 credit hours per semester), an increase of $349. The per-credit-hour undergraduate tuition rate at CSU-Global Campus, which receives no state funding, will remain unchanged for the sixth consecutive year at a maximum of $350 per credit hour ($4,200 per 12 credit hours) and it will continue its structure of not charging student fees.

“CSU-Global is proud to be able to provide high-quality, affordable, and accessible higher education for nontraditional students,” said Becky Takeda-Tinker, president of CSU-Global Campus. “Time and money are the biggest challenges our students face in completing their education. By maintaining our current per-credit-hour tuition rates without fees, we look forward to continuing to increase the number of students we are able to successfully serve.”

At CSU in Fort Collins the budget provides more than $6.4 million of additional support for student financial aid, and includes pay increases of 2.25 percent for Faculty and Administrative Professional staff and 2.5 percent for State Classified staff, with $11.9 million budgeted toward those increases. The budget also includes $7.4 million for academic incentive funding and $2.2 million for strategic initiatives and quality enhancements.

“Our revamped budgeting process is bringing together more voices from across campus to collectively identify key areas of new investment, and this resulting budget strikes an important balance which recognizes affordability while also upholding quality,” said Rick Miranda, CSU’s provost and executive vice president. “We’ve worked hard to focus growth and investment on the academic core while still being attentive to needs across the entire university.”

Student fees at CSU will be $2,243 next year, up 1.44 percent, or $32, from the previous year, and student fees at CSU-Pueblo will be $1,908, a 6 percent increase of $108. These fees are approved by the student governments of each campus to help fund a range of specific services, such as student recreation, the student health network, and facilities. CSU-Global Campus, which is a 100 percent online university, does not charge student fees.

Table 2

CSU Campus1 FY2018 Tuition FY2018 Student Fees FY2017 Tuition + Fees $ Increase % Change
CSU $9,152 $2,243 $11,395 $4468 4.3%
CSU-Pueblo $6,164 $1,908 $8,072 $457 6%

1Rates in this table reflect a full-time resident student taking 12 credit hours per semester. Some fees may vary based on the number of credit hours taken.

“CSU-Pueblo will continue to use projected increases in tuition revenue to provide additional financial aid for our students in a budget that also provides necessary funds for our core business operations,” said CSU-Pueblo resident Lesley Di Mare. “Our partnerships with the community and with our CSU System sister institutions will further CSU-Pueblo’s important mission of teaching, research, and service in southern Colorado.”

The resulting FY2018 operating budgets for each unit are projected as follows: CSU – $1.16 billion, compared to $1.1 billion for FY2017 CSU-Global Campus – $105.2 million, compared to $93.5 million for FY2017 CSU-Pueblo – $80.3 million, compared to $78.8 million for FY2017 CSU System Office – $7.0M, compared to $6.9M in FY2017. (Includes $906,968 of expenses allocated to Colorado State University to better align with cost accounting standards.)

CSU System

The Board of Governors of the CSU System has nine voting members, appointed by the governor and confirmed by the State Senate, and six non-voting members who are faculty and student representatives from CSU, CSU-Pueblo and the CSU-Global Campus. The board provides oversight to ensure effective management, accountability and leadership at all the CSU System universities – Fort Collins, Pueblo and the online Global Campus.