Mesa State College Fights Against Tuition Hikes
KREX News Room
Just recently, Colorado colleges had to submit a five-year financial accountability plan that showcases how much the college will increase tuition by over the next five years. According to the Associated Press, students could face tuition hikes anywhere from 9% to 25% if state funding continues to plummet.
President Tim Foster is constantly coming up with new ways to make Mesa State College better. But a tuition hike is not one of them.
"The legislature said we would like you guys to do basically a five-year financial accountability plan. Now, mind you, five year, when we don't know what the government is going to do in five days or the legislature is going to do in five months in terms of budgets," he said.
So the president submitted a proposal that would allow the college to raise tuition to up to 9% if the state funding for higher education decreases. However, the waiver was rejected.
"What's ironic is you want to say to them, 'Well, are you asking just to increase tuition more than 9%? You don't know anything about what we're going. We've given you reams of information.' So with all due respect, we disagree," Foster said.
President Foster said the issue seems to be more about politics than education. But it's a game he refuses to pay. "We did put in the financial accountability plan a long list of example of things we've done. But the Department of Higher Education can't get past just the basic, you-didn't-ask-for-more-than-9$. Nine percent is a pretty big tuition hike. I'm not sure why you're begging us to ask for 25%. That just seems counterproductive," he said.
It's uncertain whether the school will be allowed to increase tuition more than 9% over the next five years should the state budget decrease more than expected.
According to the Associated Press, officials with the Department of Higher Education told college presidents if they failed to submit an acceptable plan, they cannot submit a new one next year.