CMC keeps in-district tuition flat for 2015-16 | SteamboatToday.com

CMC keeps in-district tuition flat for 2015-16

Colorado Mountain College's Alpine Campus.

— Tuition for in-district and bachelor's degree students attending Colorado Mountain College will remain flat for the 2015-16 school year, while rates for out-of-state students will increase sizably.

In-district students, or those living in Colorado for at least a year and Routt County for at least 32 days, will continue to pay $57 per credit hour, the lowest tuition rate in the state, according to CMC officials.

In-district tuition has seen minimal increases throughout the past few years, from $53 in 2011-12 to $57 per credit hour presently.

In-state tuition for those pursuing associate degrees will increase $6.50 per credit hour to $107, and tuition for those living in the college's three service area counties, Chaffee, Grand and Jackson, will increase by $6 per credit hour to $103.

The biggest change will be for out-of-state students, who will pay an additional $56 per credit hour, or $373 per credit hour, a roughly 18 percent increase over last year, and now more than six times the rate in-district students pay.

The increase for out-of-state students is necessary to offset rising costs for educating the students, which aren’t absorbed by local taxes and state funding, as the students aren’t residents, said Matt Gianneschi, chief operating officer and chief of staff for CMC.

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“Costs do go up, and when they’re not offset, we do have to absorb them some way,” Gianneschi said.

Despite the increases for some students, tuition rates remain the most affordable for in-state students and among the most affordable for out-of-state students, he said.

By comparison, Colorado Northwestern Community College in Craig charges in-state students $12 to $200 per credit hour and out-of-state students $223 per credit hour.

Gianneschi said that CNCC is one of only a few public community colleges in the state that have lower out-of-state tuition than CMC.

In-state students at the much larger University of Colorado Denver pay $292 to $314 and non-residents pay $901 per credit hour for 2014-15, according to the school's website.

The CMC Board of Trustees said the new rates fit into a long-term strategy on tuition prices that the college has been considering during the past year.

"This new strategy will bring stability to our revenues and enrollments, create predictable and simple tuition rates, build in targeted discounts and financial aid and realign college resources to support students well beyond the 'sticker price,'" Carrie Besnette Hauser, president and CEO of CMC, said in a news release.

Looking ahead, the college plans to hold the costs of upper-division tuition while bringing up lower-division tuition in 100 and 200 level classes.

Student fees of $180 per full-time student are the lowest in the state and will remain the same for the 2015-16 school year.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow