Published: Dec. 1, 2017 By

Driving Down Student Costs 

phil distefano

You made some major announcements in your fall State of the Campus speech about further reducing the cost of attending CU Boulder. What were the highlights?

I announced that we are eliminating $8.4 million per year in course-related and program fees for our students beginning next fall. The amount of the fees ranges from $1 per credit hour for German and Slavic languages to $1,255 per semester for the graduate clinical  Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences program.

Does this cover all fees on their tuition bill?

There are still mandatory fees for select services like the rec center, the bus and bike program and student health services.

How can the university do this?

This money will come from increased revenue thanks to higher enrollment and improved student retention. This is complemented by savings from improved campus operating efficiencies. Our Board of Regents enabled this by endorsing a multi-year tuition guarantee so we could forecast our finances to see if we could eliminate these fees.

Refresh us on the tuition guarantee.

We have a guarantee for all incoming undergraduate students, which locks tuition and mandatory fees for four years.

You made some other headline announcements in your State of the Campus as well.

We introduced the new CU Boulder Impact Scholarship, which measures a qualified applicant’s persistence to get to college despite economic circumstances.

And we are supporting our student leaders in their effort to reduce textbook costs through Open Educational Resources — shared electronic educational materials. The campus is offering to pilot this program with up to $1 million. The hope is to eventually save students hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a year.

You’re calling these measures The Be Boulder Pact. What does that mean?

It is a pact with our students and their families to lower their cost of education. This pact helps them with financial planning and predictability, and it helps our students graduate on time with less debt. When I speak of student success, I mean success both as a student and as a graduate, something I’m very passionate about.


Illustration by Melinda Jose