12 November 2009

How Public Is Higher Education In Colorado?

State Senator Morgan Carroll summarizes neatly the percentage of public funds that various public colleges in Colorado receive from the state government (not counting COF or Tobacco Funds):

•Mesa State College 20.3%
•Adams State College 16.8%
•Fort Lewis College 13.8%
•Western State College of Colorado 7.4%
•Colorado State University 3.9%
•Colorado School of Mines 3.1%
•Colorado Community College System 2.8%
•University of Colorado System 2.4%
•University of Northern Colorado 1.2%
•Metro State College 0%

COF funds are Colorado's higher education voucher program. In state undergraduate students at public and private colleges are eligible for them for up to 145 credit hours of higher education (almost five years) in all. It is currently in the amount of $68 per credit hour at public institutions and $34 per credit hour at private ones. It is not needs based, but does require an application. This works out to roughly $4,080 per year per in-state student at public colleges and $2,040 per year at private ones, for full time students.

It was devised to reduce the amount of state institutional funding received by higher educational institutions for TABOR purposes which treats institutions that receive less than 10% state funding at the institutional level as off the books enterprises not subject to most TABOR limitations.

At which colleges can I receive the College Opportunity Fund stipend credit?

The following four year public colleges:

Adams State College
Colorado School of Mines
Colorado State University
Colorado State University-Pueblo
Fort Lewis College
Mesa State College
Metropolitan State College of Denver
University of Colorado at Boulder
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center
University of Northern Colorado
Western State College

The following two year colleges:

Arapahoe Community College
Colorado Northwestern Community College
Community College of Aurora
Community College of Denver
Front Range Community College
Lamar Community College
Morgan Community College
Northeastern Junior College
Otero Junior College
Pikes Peak Community College
Pueblo Community College
Red Rocks Community College
Trinidad State Junior College

The following private colleges:

Colorado Christian University
Regis University
University of Denver

Privatization has been described as a radical step, but in truth, Colorado is already close. All but a handful are within a year or two of tuition increases from being entirely privately supported. The support percentages that institutions are receiving, moreover, seems almost random.

Alternately, if you see COF as just another form of public funding for higher education and don't see a distinction between a voucher and institutional funding, then Colorado Christian University, Regis University, and the University of Denver (all of which are religiously affliated) are public colleges in Colorado.

1 comment:

Steve Balboni said...

Great post.

I think privatization is an intriguing issue and one that I don't think most people have a good grasp on. Not only is higher-ed a huge budget item but we're almost privatized at this point anyway. At what point do the pros of privatization outway the cons? How much would privatization actually alter the students present situation?