CMC considering tuition increase | AspenTimes.com

CMC considering tuition increase

John Stroud
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

EDWARDS, Colo. – The Colorado Mountain College board of trustees will consider a tuition increase as part of next year’s budget when it holds its monthly meeting in Edwards Monday.

Also on the table will be a discussion and certification of the college district’s mill levy, which is proposed to stay at the same rate as it has been for the past 20 years.

The college’s tuition committee is proposing to increase tuition by $4 per credit hour for in-district students to $49, up from the current rate of $45 per credit hour, for the 2010-11 fiscal and academic year.

Students living in Colorado, but outside CMC’s seven-county district, would pay an additional $7 per credit hour, increasing tuition from $75 to $82 per credit hour.

And, out-of-state students would pay an additional $21 per credit hour, increasing the rate from $235 to $256, and the college’s special industry rate and modified out-of-state rate would go up $8 per credit hour.

Also under the proposal, a differential tuition rate for specific high-cost programs is recommended, according to CMC spokesperson Debbie Crawford.

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“This is a common practice at other colleges, and our proposed differential of $37 per credit hour is competitive with what others are charging,” she said. “The tuition committee is still working on defining which courses this rate would apply to.”

Another proposal of the tuition committee is a $40 per semester course fee to underwrite the cost of CMC’s English as a Second Language program.

“Because this is a noncredit course, the board doesn’t have to approve of any changes; the board only approves tuition rates for college-level, credit classes,” Crawford said.

CMC is also proposing to leave its mill levy for the 2010-11 budget year at 3.997 mills, the same as it has been since 1990.

While some special districts around the state have lowered their mill levies to adjust for a steep increase in property valuations in 2008, with an expected decline in state funding and a likely decrease in property valuations next budget cycle, CMC is proposing to maintain its mill levy at the same rate.

“We are anticipating some challenging years ahead, as property taxes and state funding are both expected to fall, while enrollment is projected to continue increasing substantially,” Crawford said. “These proposed tuition and course fee increases, along with budgeting initiatives and other measures, are part of our efforts to spread the impacts more broadly.”

About 79 percent, or $61.4 million, of CMC’s $77.9 million budget comes from local property taxes. The current CMC mill levy equates to $31.82 in taxes to the college for every $100,000 in assessed valuation.

Today’s meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Edwards Campus. The mill levy certification discussion is on the agenda for 10 a.m., followed by the tuition proposal at 11:15 a.m.

jstroud@postindependent.com