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University of Colorado Boulder
About 2005-06 Tuition

Tuition rates for all campuses of the University of Colorado were set in early June 2005 by Board of Regent action.

Detailed tables of tuition and required fees are at the Bursar site, http://www.colorado.edu/bursar/now/tuitfeebill.html.

Here we provide information about changes in tuition rates and major features of the 2005-06 rates.

We are committed to offering a quality education to all students. The tuition we collect will be invested in these efforts. Besides substantial increases in financial aid to maintain accessibility for Colorado students, new revenues will be used to cover ongoing operating costs and increases in those costs. Tuition revenues pay for recruiting and retaining an outstanding faculty, library materials and resources, academic advisors, writing and other courses, undergraduate research opportunities, classrooms, buildings and campus infrastructure, and more.

Colorado residents

Rates for all students who are Colorado residents, undergraduate and graduate, increased 28% from 2004-05 rates. This larger-than-usual increase reflects

  • Low state funding
    • CU-Boulder has experienced a $30 million cut in funding from state tax dollars since 2002, making this the fifth straight year with flat or declining support from state tax dollars. In that period, enrollment has increased by 2,300 degree-seeking resident students.
    • State tax dollar funding per resident student in 2004-05 was 50% of the level in fiscal year 1990, after correction for inflation.
    • At $3,110 per resident full-time-equivalent student, our state tax dollar funding was 71% below the average for public research universities nationally.
  • Historically low tuition and fees. In 2004-05 Boulder's tuition and fees for resident undergraduates were $2,100 under the average at public research universities nationally. Even with the increase, 2005-06 rates will still be under the average.

Regarding undergraduate tuition, the above information reflects the student share of tuition. In addition to the student share of tuition, the state of Colorado provides state tax dollar support for higher education at the undergraduate level through the "College Opportunity Fund" or "COF." COF is neither a loan nor financial aid. It is reflected as tuition on the student's bill. The COF voucher amount is worth $80 per credit hour in FY06.

To maintain accessibility, CU-Boulder and the other CU campuses have implemented three financial aid programs for resident undergraduates for 2005-06. These supplement ongoing aid programs. The new programs are

  • 20% of revenues from increased tuition rates will be used for need-based grants.
  • The Arts and Sciences adjustment moderates the effective tuition increase for Arts and Sciences undergraduates to 15% for freshmen and sophomores, 20% for juniors and seniors. This program is for 2005-06 only. Details...
    • The adjustment is applied to student bills as follows:
      • Freshmen and sophomores
        • $222/term for full-time (9+ homs)
        • $44/term for part-time
        Juniors and seniors
        • $135/term for full-time
        • Zero for part-time
    • The Arts & Sciences adjustment was approved by the Board of Regents on June 30, 2005. The award is applicable only to undergraduate students whose primary college is Atts & Sciences. The award is not applicable to Continuing Education students or Study Abroad students. Continuing Education courses will not be considered in determining full-time or part-time status.
    • Students do not need to apply to receive this financial aid award. The award is applicable only for the fall 2005 and spring 2006 semesterS. The award will appear on the student bill as A&S ADJUSTMENT 05-06.
  • The CU Promise, part of CU's performance contract with the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, covers students from families at or below the federal poverty line who enter CU-Boulder as new freshmen or transfers from Colorado community colleges. For these students, grants and work-study up to 12 hours a week will cover the cost of tuition, required fees and estimated books.

Out of state students

Tuition rates for undergraduates not classified as Colorado residents for tuition purposes increased 6.5% over 2004-05 rates, with a 4.5% increase for graduate level.

2005-06 marks the first year of the non-resident undergraduate tuition guarantee program. Rates published for 2005-06 will be held constant through summer 2009 for all students enrolled as degree-seeking non-resident undergraduates any term spring 2006 and earlier. For details see http://www.colorado.edu/bfp/budget/tuitionfees/guarantee.html.

CU-Boulder also implemented two financial aid programs for non-resident undergraduates in 2005-06.

  • The Chancellor's Achievement Scholarship offers $15,000 over four years to the top 25% of out-of-state admitted new freshmen.
  • Ralphie Rewards will award $250 per term to non-resident undergraduates who first enrolled spring 2005 or earlier, $125 per term to those first enrolling in summer or fall 2005 or spring 2006. This program is for 2005-06 only.

College differentials

The by-college tuition differentials at CU-Boulder have been in place for many years. The revenue from the differentials supports the cost of education in the college -- faculty, student programs, and other expenses.

The college differentials reflect differences in the cost of education, the market worth of the degree, and the popularity of the college.

On all three counts, Law, Business, and Engineering top other colleges at CU-Boulder, and their differentials are accordingly higher.

  • The cost of education is higher because faculty salaries in these fields are higher at CU-Boulder and across the country because these faculty often have viable employment opportunities outside academia at much higher pay.

  • The market worth of the degree is higher, with higher starting salaries for graduates.

  • The popularity is higher, with more applicants per entering-class slot than in other colleges.

Note: In this text the term "college" refers to both colleges (e.g., College of Engineering) and schools (e.g., Leeds School of Business, Law School).

Fees and housing

Required fees increased 7.5% over 2004-05. These are detailed at the Bursar site, http://www.colorado.edu/bursar/now/tuitfeebill.html.

A double room with full meal plan in campus residence halls increased 5.5%. For more information see http://housing.colorado.edu/housing/r_res_rates.cfm.


Tuition is set within the campus budget planning process. A budget timetable highlights this process. It shows activities of the campus, the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE), the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) of the legislature, the legislature, the governor, and the Board of Regents.

The campus Tuition and Aid Advisory Board, established in 2004-05, includes representatives from the faculty, administration, student government, the alumni association, and outside the University. It reviews financial, enrollment, state, and peer information and recommends tuition and financial aid alternatives to the Chancellor.


Note: The terms "resident" and "in-state" are used interchangeably here, and mean Colorado resident for tuition purposes. "Non-resident" and "out-of-state" mean "not a Colorado resident for tuition purposes."

Last revision 05/04/16

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