Students won't pay course fees at CU Boulder anymore, chancellor announces

CU Boulder's chancellor announced Tuesday the university will no longer charge students the more than $8 million in annual course fees beginning in 2018.

BOULDER - Beginning in the fall of 2018, CU Boulder will do away with more than 60 course and program fees, which can range anywhere from $1 to upwards of $1,000. 

CU Boulder's chancellor announced Tuesday the university will no longer charge students the more than $8 million in annual course fees beginning in 2018. 

The 'Be Boulder Pact' announcement came during Chancellor Philip DiStefano's State of the Campus address Tuesday morning. 

"The three components are: eliminating all course and program fees; increasing scholarships and supporting our student government’s efforts to reduce textbooks costs,” DiStefano said.

Currently, students pay tuition and mandatory fees for select services, which will continue. Students may also be charged for course-related fees depending upon the classes for which they register, the university said in a press release.

One year ago, the school announced a "tuition guarantee" program. With the guarantee, incoming resident freshmen lock-in the same tuition payments over four years. 

“With the support of our regents two years ago to create a multi-year tuition plan, we were able to implement the tuition guarantee. That multi-year plan has allowed us to further eliminate these course and program fees without raising tuition beyond the planned one-time increase for entering freshmen,” said Kelly Fox, Senior Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer for the University of Colorado.

In a press release, Fox said charging course fees and allocating them to colleges and schools had become a complicated accounting activity.

The university will continue to fund the course-related costs for the departments without specifically charging the fees to the students, Fox said.

School officials also said they hope the elimination of course fees will make the university more affordable and make costs more transparent to incoming students. 

Watch the entire address here.

We checked with the major universities across Colorado following CU Boulder's announcement to see if they had similar fees and what they offer to help offset costs for students. 

The University of Denver (DU), Metropolitan State University (MSU) in Denver, and Colorado State University (CSU), all have course-related fees associated with specific courses and programs.

The costs at DU vary depending on the course and college the student is enrolled in, but typically students pay by quarter or semester, with some fee per credit hour.

DU provides undergraduate students with $130 million annually in scholarships, grants, and loans. 76.6% of DU's financial aid is made up of scholarships. The university also launched the Momentum Scholarship Challenge which endowed $45 million in scholarship funding for undergrads. 

MSU typically charges per credit hour and the costs can range from $1 to $41. Some fees are flat rates for specific courses. 

At MSU, undergraduate students have an opportunity ti receive six credit hours for free if they meet sepcific requirements. They must take all their credits on the same campus. 

Taking credits on the same campus means: 

  • All main campus courses
  • A mix of main campus and online course, or
  • All extended campus courses

CSU charges fees per course for special courses and programs, but some are charged per credit hour. CSU's spokesman was still gathering information on its programs to help offset student costs at the time this article was updated. 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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