CU pursuing bill to attract state's best students

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The University of Colorado is pursuing new state legislation aimed at growing revenue to support merit scholarships for the top in-state students – those who might otherwise be lured elsewhere by better offers. This is a meaningful bill to compete for the best and brightest Colorado students.

House Bill 1320 – sponsored by Rep. Mark Waller, R-Colorado Springs, Rep. Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, D-Boulder, and Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder – was passed unanimously by the House Education Committee on Wednesday, a day after being introduced. Wednesday's hearing featured testimony from CU system representatives.

The bill looks to change how the allowable ratio of resident students to nonresident students is calculated at state institutions of higher education. The bill allows an institution to count a student who is admitted as a Colorado scholar as two in-state students for purposes of calculating the ratio. This formula to achieve more revenue would not require any state tax dollars.

With resulting room for more nonresident students, the additional revenue from that tuition stream would fund merit scholarships for the state’s top students. Campus leadership has said that CU often loses Colorado’s best college prospects to out-of-state institutions offering richer scholarship packages. 

Rep. Waller says this bill creates an opportunity for more Colorado students to go to a state-supported college or university on a scholarship they’ve earned through their own hard work.

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