Mar 7, 2014 5:36 AM by Chelsea DeCesare

Colorado nearly last in the nation for higher education funding

DENVER - A nationwide study circulated today says that Colorado ranks forty-ninth in the nation in state funding for higher education. New Hampshire is the only state in the nation that funds higher education less.

"This study is alarming, and further highlights what we have known. The dream of earning a college diploma or trade certificate is escaping many Coloradans because of cost. We must reverse these devastating trends, and the 2014 College Affordability Act is an important step in doing that," said Sen. Andy Kerr, D-Lakewood, a sponsor of the bill.

The College Affordability Act (SB 14-001) will allocate an additional $100 million to Colorado colleges and put a 6 percent cap on yearly tuition increases for resident undergraduate students.

"Higher education needs to be affordable and accessible to the next generation of Coloradans. Education builds a strong foundation for the economy, and our state budget ought to reflect that," said SB 14-001 sponsor Sen. Cheri Jahn, D-Wheat Ridge.

The report entitled, "The Great Cost Shift Continues; State Higher Education Funding After the Recession," tracks the divestment of higher education after the recession.

The reports says in part, "Nationally, revenue from tuition paid for 44 percent of all operating expenses of public colleges and universities in 2012, the highest share ever. A quarter century ago, the share was just 20 percent. This shift - from a collective funding of higher education to one borne increasingly by individuals - has come at the very same time that low- and middle income households experienced stagnant or declining household income."

Click here to read the study. 


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