At its meeting on Monday, the Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees unanimously voted in support of keeping Colorado Mountain College among the most affordable colleges in the state.
Looking ahead to the 2015-16 academic year, they approved a zero increase in the tuition rate for in-district students enrolled in associate-degree-level courses: at $57 per credit hour, the most affordable tuition in Colorado.
Trustees also voted for zero increase in tuition for in-district, in-service-area, in-state and out-of-state students in bachelor’s-level courses. These tuition rates are among the most affordable in the state.
At the associate-degree level, the trustees voted to increase in-state tuition by $6.50 per credit hour to $107. They voted to increase the tuition of students living in the college’s three service area counties – Chaffee, Grand and Jackson – by $6 per credit hour to $103. They also voted to increase out of-state tuition by $56 per credit hour to $373.
Even at these new tuition rates, the college’s tuition remains the most affordable for in-state students and among Colorado’s most affordable for out-of-state students.
“Over the past year, our trustees have been considering a long-term strategy on tuition pricing,” said Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser, president and CEO of the college. “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.’ ”
Trustees discussed their longer-term plan, which is to hold level upper-division tuition and strategically bring lower-division 100- and 200-level tuition into alignment, resulting in one tuition rate for all undergraduate students in each category (such as in-district, in-state, and so on). “This strategy will allow the college to remain one of the most affordable colleges in the state while more optimally investing in the key priorities of our strategic plan, including attracting, enrolling and graduating many more students from underserved populations, and working more closely with K-12, business and community partners to educate and train the workforce for our mountain communities,” said Dr. Matt Gianneschi, the college’s chief operating officer and chief of staff.
Over the next several months the trustees will be looking comprehensively and strategically at the college’s financial aid programs, in keeping with the board’s longer-term plan for improving access and success.
WUE, military discounts
On Monday the trustees voted to modify current tuition discounts for military veterans and their dependents so that those rates are now equivalent to service-area rates ($103 a credit hour for associate level): still the most affordable tuition in Colorado for these students. These changes were intended to ensure that the college’s program for veterans and their dependents could continue within projected expenditures.
Trustees also added additional flexibility to the implementation of the college’s Western Undergraduate Exchange tuition rates. These changes will allow the college to more strategically support enrollment in key programs or among CMC’s 11 campuses and instructional sites. The WUE program is administered by the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE), based in Boulder.
The college’s mandatory fees of $180 per full-time student – the lowest in the state – will remain the same next year.
Trustees also approved new course-specific fees, which cover the cost of goods and services needed for certain classes, such as national certification exams for ski and snowboard business students and special fire-resistant clothing for forestry students.