Published: March 21, 2014

The University of Colorado Board of Regents on Friday, March 21, voted to raise tuition at CU-Boulder for the 2014-15 academic year by 3.3 percent – one of the lowest tuition increases in the past decade. The facts below explain how tuition functions to fund the university’s main academic mission and offer some explanations on commonly asked questions about tuition and CU finances.

 -- The regents approved a tuition increase to pay for a modest rise in expenses next year. CU-Boulder’s tuition is increasing by 3.3 percent, which equates to an additional $144 per semester or $12 per credit hour for a College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate student. This tuition increase pays for expenses such as the salaries for faculty and staff, health care costs, deferred maintenance, compliance with state and federal laws, utility increases and other basic expenses, which grow each year.

-- At the March 21 meeting, the Regents also approved mandated and merit salary increases for CU-Boulder faculty and staff, effective in their July 31 paychecks. For classified staff, this funds a long-deserved and legally mandated pay raise that includes a 2.5 percent cost-of-living increase, with the possibility of an additional increase of up to 1 percent based on merit. Faculty and university staff employees are eligible for raises out of the 3 percent merit salary pool.

-- For the upcoming fiscal year, additional tuition dollars and a one-time state funding increase will help the campus make key investments, including:

  • Funding for the second year of the Esteemed Scholars Program, providing scholarships to Colorado high school seniors with exceptional GPAs and test scores
  • Raises for our faculty and staff, ensuring that CU-Boulder stays competitive and retains the best and brightest employees
  • Enhancement to the tuition benefit for dependents of CU-Boulder’s faculty and staff
  • Investment in much-needed deferred maintenance on our campus’s aging facilities
  • Funding for critical initiatives to be in compliance with federal and state laws

-- The university is grateful for the sacrifices of Colorado families, alumni and families across the nation who are saving to send their young people to CU-Boulder. We are working hard at the state level to increase funding to CU-Boulder so that the cost of a valuable CU degree is not placed squarely on the shoulders of parents and students. For the upcoming fiscal year, the state is projected to give an extra $6 million in one-time funding to CU-Boulder -- an amount we are grateful to receive, but which, by itself, does not provide nearly enough support to negate the need for a tuition increase. You can be a part of our efforts to secure more funding by becoming a CU Advocate.

-- You can also make your feelings about tuition increases and state support for CU-Boulder known to CU’s Board of Regents at or by emailing Chancellor DiStefano at