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Tuition lock needed at CU Denver

FEE INCREASES ARE UNFAIR TO STUDENTS

Illustration: Madalyn Drewno – CU Sentry

With the cost of attending college throughout the United States on the rise, CU Denver often attracts students because it has an affordable price tag without sacrificing valuable academics when compared to other universities.

With nearly 80 percent of the campus budget coming from student fees, CU Denver depends heavily on student enrollment; but as the campus continues to grow and expand, student fees and tuition rates may also grow to support development (as seen with the new Student Wellness Center). An increasing tuition rate may negatively impact a student’s ability to enroll, and a “tuition lock” should be implemented at CU Denver to protect students from difficulty in managing personal education cost.

Last year in April, The University of Colorado Board of Regents approved “administration recommended increases in tuition and mandatory fees” at CU Denver as 3.38 percent and 0.19 percent for lower and upper division students, respectively. In contrast to CU Denver students, incoming freshmen at the University of Colorado Boulder will not see a tuition increase after the start of their enrolment; these students have their tuitions “locked” for four years, thus protecting them from unforeseen tuition increases.

This tuition lock also gives students and their families the ability to plan proactively for college costs by providing consistency.

On an individual student level, it is understandable how there may be objections to tuition increases for CU Denver students while CU Boulder students are protected by a tuition lock. For example, with the development of the new Student Wellness Center, a commuter student who may not have the time or proximity to use the center to its fullest would not fully benefit from student fees and should not be subjected to increases.

Others may argue that student fees provide funding for new projects and developments that ultimately improve the campus, and that this outweighs the downfalls. For example, the construction for the new Student Wellness Center was partially supported by a student fee increase. While increasing student fees can provide the financial support that is necessary to make valuable, lasting improvements to the campus that will benefit most students enrolled, it is unfair to ask all students to pay additional fees they had not planned for.

From either perspective, student fees impact the affordability of college for all students as a rising tuition may discourage incoming students from enrolling or prevent already enrolled students from continuing their education because of a tuition they can no longer afford.

Implementing a tuition lock could help prevent radical fee increases that may affect enrollment rates as the cost of education increases along with the services offered to keep a campus competitively modern and updated.

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