Tuition hikes coming for two-year CMC students
NEW CMC ASSOCIATE-LEVEL TUITION FOR 2016-17
• In-district, $62/credit hour
• Service area, $123/credit hour
• In-state , $127/credit hour
• Out-of-state, $429/credit hour
• Industry rate, $139/credit hour
• English as a Second Language, $20/credit equivalent
• General Educational Development (GED), $20/credit equivalent.
(No increase for bachelor’s degree program courses.)
Source: Colorado Mountain College
An expected $3 million decline in revenues, plus a projected 5 percent increase in personnel costs next fiscal year, has prompted the Colorado Mountain College board to hike tuition for the 2016-17 academic year.
The CMC board of trustees, meeting in Edwards last week, voted 4-3 to increase tuition rates for all associate degree-level students, as well as for those taking English as a Second Language and high-school equivalency (GED) degree courses.
Tuition for CMC’s bachelor’s-level courses will stay the same for the third year in a row, “ensuring CMC’s position as offering the third-most-affordable bachelor’s degree in the nation,” the college said in a news release.
Even with the tuition hike for associate-degree programs, CMC remains among the most affordable colleges in the state, CMC President and CEO Carrie Besnette Hauser said.
At $62 per credit hour, an increase of $5 for next year, the in-district associate degree tuition is still the lowest tuition of any public college or university in Colorado, she said.
“Every member of the board of trustees cares deeply about the residents, employers and students supported by CMC,” Hauser said in the release. “Together, the trustees and college management intend to honor the investments made by our local taxpayers while keeping tuition as low as possible.”
However, “We also have a responsibility to maintain a balanced and sustainable budget while delivering top-quality programs in the high-cost region where CMC campuses are located,” she said.
Driving the decision in part is an expected decline in property taxes next year due to the slowdown in new oil and gas drilling in recent years, which is also impacting other property tax-funded entities such as Garfield County government and school districts.
The college also expects cuts in state funding. Combined, CMC could see a $3 million drop in revenue for the fiscal year starting this July. At the same time, college personnel costs are expected to increase by as much as 5 percent, college officials said.
Under the newly adopted tuition plan, the rate for in-district associate degree students will increase $5 from the current rate to $62 per credit hour. Students in CMC’s service area, but just outside the district boundaries, will see a $20 increase to $123/credit hour.
Likewise, the in-state associate-level tuition rate will go up $20 to $127/credit hour; out-of-state tuition will increase $56 to $429/credit hour; and the special industry rate will go up $20 to $139/credit hour.
The fee for ESL and GED classes will go up $10 to $20 per credit equivalent.
Voting against the tuition increase for in-district, service area and in-state tuition rates were trustees Ken Brenner, Mary Ellen Denomy and Kathy Goudy.
Trustees did direct staff to set aside some remaining revenues from the current fiscal year to provide targeted financial aid for students who may be impacted by the tuition increases.
This could include middle-income students who might not otherwise qualify for federal aid, as well as nontraditional adult students, the college said. Military tuition discounts were also modified.
Trustees also voted at the Jan. 21 meeting to approve a new technology fee for credit students, ranging from $3 to $50 per semester, based on the number of credits taken. The fees are meant to help cover the cost of increased wireless networks on campuses, increasing Internet broadband capacities, and supporting maintenance and upgrades to computer labs used by students.
In addition, the board approved a new residence hall technology fee of $100 per term, which will be used to support high-speed wireless broadband to the students who live in CMC residence halls. Room and board rates could also go up by as much as 110 percent next year, the board decided.
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