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CU-Boulder Tuition & Aid Advisory Board (TAAB)

Tuition and fee rules in statute and CCHE policy

Sept 2004, Lou McClelland, CU-Boulder
Caution:  These are my extractions and notes, NOT legal opinions

Sections of this document:

  • CCHE policy
  • SB04-189 passed May 2004
  • Other sections of CRS (Colorado Revised Statutes).
Yellow highlights have been added. 


Colorado Department of Higher Education policy

Section VI Part C. Covers tuition, fees, course fees, and some aspects of aid. CCHE is called upon or allowed to set policies in these areas under 23-1-105 and 23-20-132, both listed in the "Other CRS" section.  

Highlights of the CCHE policy:

  • Governing boards set tuition and fees; CCHE "exercises oversight to ensure that educational qualilty and access for students are maintained consistent with the role and mission of each instituion."
  • In setting tuition and fees, governing boards should consider (1) "the relationship of tuition and fees to total cost per student" (which would include housing, books, transportation, etc.), (2) "financial aid available form all sources for needy students" and (3, section 2.02) "legislatively set limits on tuition rate increases and other legislative directions regarding tuition rates" (on a governing board basis). 
  • "When appropriate, governing boards may request exceptions from 2.02 as part of the annual budget request cycle. The CCHE may forward such exceptions as part of its governing board budget recommendation to seek legislative approval.
  • "CCHE guidelines are that average tuition rates for full-time undergraduate resident students - on a governing board basis - should cover between 25 percent and 30 percent of the cost of the academic program, and average tuition rates for full-time nonresident students should cover at least 100 percent of costs. These guidelines do not apply to the Colorado School of Mines."   Comment: The percentages listed are not specified in statue, which says nothing about rates for in-state students, and only that the rate for out of state students should be "reasonable."  
  • Most of the document is on fee policies, not tuition.  


SB04-189, passed May 2004

Establishes Colorado Opportunity Fund stipends, performance contracts, and fee for service.  Relevant portions of the bill add several sections to statute and amend one section.  Sections of statute are denoted by numbers such as 23-18-101. 

SB04-189 changes to statue have been incorporated in the online CRS but are listed here separately to make identification of recent changes easier.   For a link to each part listed in the online CRS, click here and pick CO Revised Statues (5th link down on the left) and search by number.

In 23-18-102 Definitions:

  • 12. "Student's share of in-state tuition" means the amount of total in-state tuition, less any amount paid on behalf of the student as a stipend.
  • 13. "Total in-state tuition" means the total amount of tuition that is paid to a state institution of higher education by or on behalf of a student who is eligible to pay in-state tuition, including but not limited to the amount of the stipend paid on behalf of the student.

In 23-18-201(4)

  • If a student is classified as an in-state student for tuition purposes at a state institution of higher education and does not apply for the program or is not eligible for the program, the student shall be responsible for paying the student's total in-state tuition amount.

In 23-18-202(2b)

  • The student shall be responsible for paying the student's share of total in-state tuition, if any.

In 23-18-202(3): For the state fiscal year commencing July 1, 2005, and for each state fiscal year thereafter,

  • The general assembly shall appropriate spending authority to each governing board for the cash funds exempt estimated to be received by an institution, under the direction and control of the governing board, as stipends, consistent with the provisions of section 23-1-104. The spending authority for the stipends estimated to be received shall be calculated by multiplying the amount of the applicable per-credit-hour stipend by the number of eligible student credit hours that are estimated to be attributable to each state institution of higher education under the direction and control of the governing board.
  • The tuition increases from which the general assembly derived the total cash spending authority for each governing board shall be noted in a footnote in the annual general appropriations act.
  • If an institution of higher education is designated as an enterprise pursuant to section 23-5-101.7, the institution shall annually allocate at least twenty percent of any increase in undergraduate resident tuition revenues above inflation to need-based financial assistance.

23-18-202(4)

  • Regardless of when an institution receives moneys in the form of a stipend on behalf of a student, or if the stipend amount is reduced by the general assembly, a state institution of higher education shall not increase the student's share of in-state tuition to make up for an actual or effective reduction during the same fiscal year in the stipend amount from which the total in-state tuition amount was calculated or for issues relating to the timing of stipend payments.

23-5-129 While operating pursuant to a performance contract negotiated pursuant to this section, the governing board of a state institution of higher education:

  • (6c) Shall report to the Colorado commission on higher education its plans for any tuition increases for the following academic year for the commission to forward to the general assembly during the annual budget process.
  • (10) While a state institution of higher education is operating pursuant to a performance contract negotiated pursuant to this section, the general assembly retains the authority to approve tuition spending authority for the governing board of the institution.

23-1-104 amended as follows

23-1-104. Financing the system of postsecondary education - repeal.
(1) (a) (I) The general assembly shall make annual appropriations of general fund moneys, and of cash funds received from tuition income, pursuant to the provisions of section 23-1-103.5 and of cash funds exempt that are estimated to be received by an institution, under the direction and control of the governing board, as stipends, as defined in section 23-18-102, as a single line item to each governing board for the operation of its campuses. consistent with the distribution percentages developed by the commission pursuant to section 23-1-105 (3). Except as otherwise provided in subsection (1.5) of this section, each governing board shall allocate said appropriations to the institutions under its control in the manner deemed most appropriate by such governing board.


Other sections of CRS

Click here for a link to each part listed, and pick "CO Revised Statues" (5th link down on the left) and search by number.  The online CRS does reflect 2004 session additions and amendments).  Comments in italics.

23-1-203.5

  • Establishment of annual allowable cash fund revenues and expenditures by general assembly.
  • Probably needs wholesale rewrite to accommodate provisions of SB04-189.
  • Does not reference CCHE

23-1-105 Duties and powers of the commission with respect to appropriations.

  • Probably needs wholesale rewrite to accommodate provisions of SB04-189.
  • References QIS
  • CCHE to establish "distribution formula of appropriations of cash funds received as tuition income by the general assembly to each governing board" per role/mission, reflecting fixed vs. variable costs, QIS.
  • Authorizes CCHE to establish tuition classification rules for students.
  • No other direct mention of tuition.

23-1-123 Commission directive, fee policies.

  • All about fees.
  • By-college fees definitely allowed

23-20-132 "When tuition fee charged."

  • Specific to CU but others have similar/same.
  • "The university shall charge a reasonable tuition fee for all out of state students, as provided in article 7 of this title."
  • Article 7 is residency classification
  • This is the entirety of this section, from 1893 !!
  • Article 20 is U of Colorado

23-20.5-101 authority to charge tuition at a dental school

23-1-112 Tuition, reciprocal agreements.

  • For exchange programs.
  • No CCHE reference

23-7 101-107 Tuition classification.

  • Has nothing on rates or revenue
  • Higher tuition (for out of state) is not unconstitutional


PBA: W only

Last revision 08/15/13


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