LTTE: In response to CSU ranked seventh for highest tuition hikes

Guest Author

A response to CSU’s ranking of seventh in the nation for highest tuition hikes 

By Steven Shulman, professor and chair of the department of economics 
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The article “Colorado State Ranked Seventh in Nation for Highest Tuition Hikes” (March 21) blames tuition increases on state budget cuts, according to a CSU official quoted in the article.

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This is simply not true. CSU tuition increases are far greater than the amount needed to offset state budget cuts.

For example, the FY2017 budget shows that tuition increases will create an additional $13.9 million of revenue into CSU. Yet state budget cuts will reduce revenue by just $3.8 million (see http://www.president.colostate.edu/pdf/FY17-v4.0-summary.pdf).

Every year CSU increases tuition by much more than is necessary to offset inflation or state budget cuts. Over the past five years, tuition has increased by 58% despite the fact that family incomes have hardly grown at all.

What is the university doing with all the additional revenue? Unfortunately, it is not investing more in academics. Instead, the additional money has been used to service the huge debt that the university has taken on and to subsidize athletics by over $20 million per year.

As a land grant university, CSU is charged with keeping higher education affordable for Colorado families. But in truth, it has done exactly the opposite in order to pay for non-essentials like the new football stadium.

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