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2009-2010 budget approved for Fort Collins campus

June 24, 2009

The Board of Governors of the Colorado State University System has approved an education and general budget for the Fort Collins campus of $422.3 million - an increase of $11.8 million over the previous year.

Approximately 16 percent of total budget from state

The education and general budget constitutes 47 percent of CSU's estimated revenues and includes state general fund support and tuition, which is used to help cover the costs of educating students and paying faculty and staff.

The education and general budget doesn't include self-funded programs, external grants and contracts, and other funding sources that make up the university's entire revenues of nearly $800 million. For an example, state and federal research funding that can solely be used for those research activities is included in the $800 million.

The state of Colorado will provide approximately 16 percent of CSU's total estimated revenues, including stimulus funds deployed by the State from the American Resource and Recovery Act, or ARRA.

Stimulus funds backfill shortfall

The total CSU Fort Collins education and general budget decreased by $30 million from the 2008-2009 fiscal year because of the economic downturn. To prevent major cuts in higher education access and quality, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter and the Legislature deployed federal ARRA stimulus funds to backfill the shortfall and make sure higher education funding would not drop below 2006 levels.

"This budget avoids debilitating cuts to CSU and higher education, thanks to the leadership of Governor Ritter and our state's elected representatives," Frank said. "Their actions to backfill budget cuts this year will allow us time to focus on cost containment and thoughtful, conservative approaches to lowering spending, while state leaders consider a long-term approach to better supporting Colorado education. We're especially pleased to be able to keep next year's tuition increases to single digits, so student tuition will go up less than $200 a semester next year."

Tuition and fee increases

The board Wednesday also approved expected tuition increases for 2009-2010 that are in keeping with the tuition guidelines established this year by the Governor and General Assembly that limited tuition increases to no more than 9 percent. Resident undergraduate students at CSU will pay $2,411 per semester in tuition next year - an increase of $199 per semester. Fees for an on-campus student taking 12 credit hours during the regular academic year increased slightly by $23 to $718 per semester, making total student tuition and fees $3,129 per semester - an overall combined tuition and fee increase of 7.6 percent.

A $3.9 million increase in financial aid includes a 23.4 percent increase in financial aid support for resident undergraduates. This marks the fourth consecutive year that the university has dedicated the largest piece of its discretionary budget increase to financial aid.

"Increased financial aid is one of the many ways Colorado State works to make higher education accessible to all who qualify to pursue a CSU education, including first generation, limited income or ethnically diverse students," said CSU Vice President for Enrollment and Access Robin Brown. "Colorado State remains a great value in terms of affordability for a major research university in comparison to in-state and national peer universities."

Increasing tuition a necessary step to ensure academic quality

"We have been extremely prudent in our financial planning, and while increasing tuition is always a difficult decision, it is a necessary step - along with other measures - to ensure the academic quality our students and parents expect and deserve," Frank said. "We've discussed these increases with our students, faculty, and parents, and there seems to be general agreement that CSU remains very reasonably priced for students seeking an education at a top-ranked research university. At the same time, we realize families are struggling in this economy and are doing what we can to increase financial aid."

After he was named interim president in the fall, Frank cut $1.5 million from the administrative budget, including streamlining President's Office operations and cutting several upper administrative positions to increase efficiency. The cuts helped the university navigate difficult economic times.

Challenges ahead

"Clearly there are economic uncertainties and challenges ahead, but I believe we have built a solid budget that protects the academic core of the University, advances accessibility, improves some critical areas, and takes significant steps forward in assuring a long-term stable financial foundation for CSU," Frank said.

(Dollar increase in parentheses)

  • Resident undergraduate tuition $2,411 ($199)
  • Resident graduate tuition $3,232 ($421.50)
  • Non-resident undergraduate tuition $10,372 ($302)
  • Non-resident graduate tuition $9,058 ($431)
  • Mandatory fees, based on 12 credit hours $718 ($23)
  • Residence hall fees $2,119 ($62)

Contact: Emily Wilmsen
Phone: (970) 491-2336