Steamboat Springs In a split vote, Colorado Mountain College’s board of trustees voted Monday night to increase student tuition at the community college.
The trustees voted, 4-3, to raise in-district student tuition from $53 to $56 per credit hour, in-state tuition from $89 to $95 per credit hour and out-of-state tuition from $279 to $299 per credit hour starting in the summer semester.
CMC spokeswoman Debbie Crawford said a full-time, in-district student taking 30 credit hours will pay $1,680 in tuition per school year, a $90 increase, as a result of Monday’s vote.
The cost for room and board also will increase 1.99 to 3.72 percent depending on what type of meal plan a student is enrolled in.
The price of upper-division courses in the college’s new bachelor’s degree program will remain $95 per credit hour for in-district students, $200 per credit hour for in-state students and $405 per credit hour for out-of-state students.
Crawford said the tuition increase was proposed as a response to declining property tax revenues coupled with reductions in state funding. She said that because of the recession, some trustees wanted to wait to impose any tuition increases on students and that supporters of the tuition increase said it would be better to continue with small cost increases instead of implementing a larger tuition hike in the future.
Crawford said the tuition increase is projected to generate $550,000 for CMC if enrollment is unchanged from this year. She said $50,000 of that extra revenue will be added to the college’s approximately $700,000 in financial aid support for students.
Ken Brenner, Routt County’s CMC trustee, voted against the tuition increase. Brenner said he wanted the college to use surplus revenue from its budget this year to absorb the expected shortfalls next year.
“I was disappointed, but it was the decision of the board,” Brenner said about the vote. “It’s good that the board had some lengthy discourse and a split vote. We had some very meaningful discussions on these issues, and that’s a great thing.”
In a news release announcing the increases, Linda English, the college’s vice president of finance, said CMC is expecting a substantial drop in revenue in the 2012-13 school year.
“These increases are proposed to offset projected cuts in state revenue next year of $270,000 to $300,000 or more as well as increases in fixed costs such as utilities, insurance and service contracts for information technology,” English said in the release.
English said that a tuition increase combined with “conservative budgeting” would help offset the expected shortfall. She added that despite the tuition increase, CMC remains the most affordable public college option for in-district students.
In-district students who took 30 credit hours this year paid $120 more for their courses than they did in 2010-11 after trustees approved a previous tuition increase in February 2011.
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com