skip to Main Content

Mountain Lion Pride

I am a proud alumna and a HUGE fan of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. UCCS provides a high quality education, a well-rounded college experience, and a great value for your money. I can’t speak highly enough about how satisfied I have been with both the value and the quality of my educational experience at UCCS.

Statistics below demonstrate that others also find CU to be a great value in higher education. A CU degree is a better predictor of job success than degrees from other schools, and CU students graduate with lower than average student loan debt.

Local Colorado Springs residents should be proud of this gem, and if you haven’t visited the facilities lately, check out the Kraemer Family Library, the new Campus Recreation Center, a TheatreWorks show at the Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theatre, or the new Gallery of Contemporary Art downtown.

From CU Advocates:

This article appeared in The Denver Post on June 13, as well as other national publications. To help our CU Advocates speak to these national issues with an eye on the University of Colorado campuses, we’ve added the CU perspective to many of the national points made in the article. Our additions are in bold.

4-year degree’s cost at public university up 15% from 2008 to 2010 By Christine Armario
The Associated Press

When those college-tuition bills come in, be prepared for sticker shock.

The average tuition at a four-year public university climbed 15 percent between 2008 and 2010, fueled by state budget cuts for higher education and increases of 40 percent and more at universities in such states as Georgia, Arizona and California.

Tuition increase between 2008-2010: University of Colorado Boulder, 18.9 percent; University of Colorado Colorado Springs, 12.4 percent; University of Colorado Denver, 13 percent. From 2008, state funding for CU dropped from about 10 percent to 5.3 percent today. This is on top of increases in our costs, such as utilities, insurance and technology upgrades.

The U.S. Department of Education’s annual look at college affordability also found significant price increases at the nation’s private universities, including at for-profit institutions, where the net price for some schools is now twice as high as Harvard.

Compare CU’s tuition and state support to its peers (by campus). CU continues to be a great value.

At Full Sail University, a film-and-art school in central Florida, the average price of tuition, fees, books and other expenses totals $43,990, even when grants and scholarships are factored in. The average net price for an incoming Harvard student: $18,277, according to the department. Net price is cost of attendance minus grant and scholarship aid.

Average net price (reporting is required by the federal government) at CU campuses is: CU-Boulder, $18,377; UCCS, $13,226; CU Denver, $15,158. (Harvard has a high tuition/high aid model)

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said that students need to be smart consumers and that states need to do their part by making higher education a priority in their budgets. Forty percent of states cut higher-education spending last year, the most important factor in tuition increases.

In 2012, CU received $46 million less than what it received in 2011. Colorado is 48th nationally in state funding per resident student. Despite low state funding, CU’s tuition continues to be at or below the average tuition charged by peer institutions. See peer comparisons. 

“As a nation, we need more college graduates in order to stay competitive in the global economy,” Duncan said. “But if the costs keep on rising, especially at a time when family incomes are hurting, college will become increasingly unaffordable for the middle class.”

CU’s financial aid increased 280 percent since fiscal year 2002, from $38 million to $106 million. Some 28,270 students received aid last year out of 31,961 who applied. Nearly 21,000 students received scholarships, grants and work study, which do not have to be paid back.

Pennsylvania State University had the highest in-state tuition for a four-year public university at $15,250 during the 2010-11 school year. When the costs of room, board and other expenses are factored in, the total rises to $19,816, the fourth-highest net price nationwide.

CU’s in-state tuition for fiscal year 2011-2012 (one year later than reported above): CU-Boulder, $7,672; UCCS, $6,720; and CU Denver, $6,776.

Bill Mahon, a spokesman for the school, said a 19.6 percent cut in state funding last year, coupled with a decade of weak state support, “has left Penn State increasingly reliant on students and their families to fund most of the costs of their Penn State education.”

Had CU’s funding from the state remained steady at its 2003 level, adjusted for inflation and taking into account enrollment growth, today that figure would be $355 million. Instead, CU’s funding is less than half that, about $155 million for fiscal year 2013.

Zach Zimbler, who graduated from Penn State this spring with a degree in information sciences, said his total tuition came out to about $50,000 for four years. He has loans totaling about $25,000. He said many students don’t realize how much debt they’ve amassed until it comes time to pay.

Undergraduate loan debt upon graduation: CU-Boulder, $23,125; UCCS, $22,703. The national average is $25,250. An indicator that CU students are securing jobs after graduating is the university’s low default rate on student loans. CU had a low default rate of 3.4 percent compared to Colorado’s average of 11.5 percent.

“The students themselves don’t really know what they’re getting into,” he said.
In Colorado, tuition and fees at the University of Colorado Boulder for the 2012-13 school year will be $9,482. In 2011-12, the Colorado School of Mines charged in-state tuition of $12,585, while Colorado State University charged $8,040.

In 2012, tuition and fees: UCCS, $7,894; and CU Denver, $7,702. CU is a great value for the quality of education.

The College Affordability and Transparency lists were first published last year to fulfill a reporting requirement passed into law in 2008. The lists track tuition and fees as well as the average net price at public, private and for-profit colleges and universities.

Visit CU’s Accountability Data Center site

Last week, presidents from 10 colleges and universities agreed to provide students information on costs, financial aid and monthly loan payments after graduation in an easy-to-understand form.

Meanwhile, Republicans and Democrats in Congress are struggling against a July 1 deadline to avert a doubling of interest rates on new federal student loans for 7.4 million people.

Read a Denver Post op-ed on student loans written by a CU-Boulder student
The highs and lows of higher education The highest and lowest tuitions for public and not-for-profit colleges and universities:

Public, four-year or above: 
Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus: $15,250
Haskell Indian Nations University, Kansas: $430

Private not-for-profit, four-year or above: 
Connecticut College: $43,990
Berea College, Kentucky: $910 Source: Department of Education

For more, check out CU Advocates!

Back To Top