Mesa State eyes tuition increase

A loss of $1.6 million in state funding has Mesa State College looking at additional cuts and acknowledging that tuition might increase to cover the gap.

The Legislature’s Joint Budget Committee this week reduced spending on higher education by $50 million, setting off the $1.6 million reduction in the Mesa State budget, Mesa State President Tim Foster said Tuesday.

“Basically, that means Mesa State and other higher education institutions in Colorado will be at about the same level of state funding as we had in 2007-08, and we are likely to stay at that level for the next few years,” Foster said.

Mesa State now has seen cuts of about $3.2 million in state funding and anticipates federal stimulus funding for higher education will cover about half that amount.

Mesa State will use its stimulus dollars as one-time money, meaning it can’t be used for salaries or other continuing expenses, Foster said.

The state still has to balance its 2010 budget, Foster said, so he might have to find additional reductions. And, stimulus dollars will dry up after 2011, which could increase the need for tuition increases, he said. It’s premature to say how much tuition might go up, Foster said.

Mesa State has an enrollment of approximately 6,200 full-time students who pay $4,325 in tuition and $414 in fees annually.


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