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CU Tuition Hike Looks Inevitable

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – Once again students at the University of Colorado can expect to pay more for tuition next year.

CU’s Board of Regents talked Friday about addressing the widening shortfall between operating costs and the funding it gets from the state.

This year the average in-state student pays about $7,600 in tuition. Next year the price is projected to rise above $8,300. That’s an 8.5 percent increase.

The CU regents have had difficulties finding a hard and fast number that takes care of their needs and keeps college affordable to Coloradans. But it seems clear a tuition hike in inevitable.

“The 9.3 percent that we had last year was unacceptable to me. The 15.7 that was proposed to us in January was unacceptable,” CU Regent Sue Shirley said.

“Right now I think the board is focused on what we can achieve this year with a modest tuition increase,” CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard said.

A more popular idea is multiple year guarantee that would lock incoming students in at a four-year rate. But those rates might change for each incoming class. Student President Carly Robinson says that’s the plan the regents need to adopt.

“The guaranteed tuition proposal is the best way to go. It would make it so families could plan. They would know what they owe every year,” Robinson said.

People close to the discussions call the multi-year deal unlikely — at least for now. CU says raising tuition is imperative. With less state money going to higher education the university faces a major shortfall. Without higher tuition CU could be forced to cut facility, or even whole programs.

“They might find their whole degree program eliminated completely after they’ve been here two to three years,” Hilliard said. “So big cuts are a serious thing for our students.”

To off-set the rising cost, financial aid may become more available to in-state students.

A vote on the tuition hike is expected to happen April 18.

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