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Tuition Increase FAQ - Spring 2021


In order for Metropolitan State University of Denver to continue providing students the same high-quality education and support services, the MSU Denver Board of Trustees unanimously voted to increase tuition by 3% beginning with the spring 2021 semester.


The Board of Trustees also discussed several ways of helping students who could be negatively impacted by the increase, including targeting more funding to financial aid, leveraging the MSI Cares Act Grant, and working with Faculty Senate to use more Open Educational Resources so students do not have to pay the high cost of textbooks. 


How much will the 3% tuition increase cost me?

A 3% increase equates to about $8 per credit hour for in-state students and $25 for out-of-state students.


If tuition is raised, will some fees go away?

No additional fees will go away, but the Board of Trustees voted to keep the same fees structure as fall 2020, so the Campus Recreation Fee, Intercollegiate Athletic Fee, AHEC Facility and Bond Fee and Tivoli Park Facility Fee are all waived for the spring and summer term. The RTD Pass fee (and accompanying service) will be determined at a later date. 


How will this change affect financial aid? Will there be more aid given?

MSU Denver will set aside $680,000 of the revenue generated by the tuition increase for financial aid to provide some relief for MSU Denver’s highest-need students. These funds will be awarded in small grants to offset the tuition increases.


How will this change affect financial aid for DREAMers or ASSET students?

DREAMer and ASSET students are encouraged to apply for assistance using the Dreamer and International Application for Institutional Aid (DAIA) form. Through this application, MSU Denver will be able to assess individual student needs for financial assistance. If you have already completed the DAIA form, your need-level will be reviewed, and adjustments will be made to your institutional aid as appropriate to offset the impact of this increase to tuition.


MSU Denver has said they’re working to reduce the impact this increase will have on students. How are they planning to do so?

Tuition increases are hard; here are some of the ways in which MSU Denver is preparing to help support you:

  • Allocating $680,000 to financial aid, which is to be distributed to MSU Denver’s highest-need student population.
  • Student employees will be getting a salary increase. Rather than maintaining the state minimum-wage rate of $12 per hour, MSU Denver will direct funds generated from the tuition increase to raise the hourly minimum wage to $12.85 immediately, $14.77 on Jan. 1, 2021, and $15.87 a year later. This decision brings the University in line with the city of Denver and recognizes the value of our student employees’ time and their significant contributions to our operations.
  • Distribution of CARES Act Funding and the MSI Cares Act Grant.
  • Faculty Senate is looking into the use more Open Education Resources so students do not have to pay the high cost of textbooks.
  • Suspension of the Campus Recreation Fee, Intercollegiate Athletic Fee, AHEC Facility and Bond Fee and Tivoli Park Facility Fee for the spring and summer term.
  • Scholarship, loans and other student financial aid options are still available. Please contact Financial Aid for more information on options available to you.


I/my parent(s) just lost my/their job, and I can’t afford a tuition increase.

If you haven’t already, it is important to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) using the 2020/2021 application OR Dreamer and International Application for Institutional Aid (DAIA). These applications for aid are the best way for MSU Denver to evaluate what you might need to help pay for school and find what resources might be available to you.

If the FAFSA or DAIA applications do not reflect your current financial situation, you can complete an Income Appeal, which allows us to evaluate your need and available aid based on your current family income.  We also recommend that you speak with a financial aid counselor.

There are also student employment opportunities available. However, they typically require that you have completed a FAFSA or DAIA application and have been awarded work-study funding.


I was not anticipating a tuition increase, so I didn’t budget enough to take a full semester course load. What can I do?

If you have already been awarded financial aid, you can review any options available for additional aid with a Financial Aid counselor. Schedule an appointment to speak with a Financial Aid counselor through Navigate.


I can only afford five credit hours. Will I still be able to get a student loan?

As an undergraduate student, you must be enrolled in at least six credits at MSU Denver each semester you wish to receive a loan.


I didn’t apply for financial aid this year. Can I still get financial aid for the spring semester?

Yes, please complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) OR Dreamer and International Application for Institutional Aid (DAIA) form for 2020-21 as soon as you can!


I’m a graduate student, how much will my tuition increase?

The recently approved tuition increase is applicable to undergraduate courses. If you are a graduate student taking undergraduate level courses, your tuition for those classes will increase 3% per credit hour. However, for graduate programs, students should check with their respective departments.


I am experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety trying to figure out how I will pay for school.

MSU Denver recognizes that balancing the demands of college life can be difficult, and that financial pressures can leave you feeling stressed. The Counseling Center staff can help you find ways to manage difficult times and provide you with a comforting virtual space to process stressful situationsTherapy sessions are offered entirely virtually; call 303-615-9902 to connect and schedule an appointment. Note: After-hours crisis support is also available at 303-615-9911. All services are included with your tuition and fees, so there are no additional charges.

The Student Care Center also provides holistic, non-clinical case management support to MSU Denver students who are facing challenging life circumstances. The case managers in the Center can help you navigate decisions and connect with the most relevant supports – both on campus and in the community. Call the Student Care Center at 303-615-0006 to discuss your situation.


Even with financial aid assistance, I still struggle to pay my bills. Are there any additional resources out there for me?

If you have exhausted all other financial resources and find yourself in a bind without any way to pay your bills, consider applying for the Student Emergency Retention Fund. Call the Student Care Center at 303-615-0006 to discuss your situation and access help with the application. Likewise, the case managers in the Student Care Center can help you determine eligibility for public benefits, such as food and childcare assistance, which may help provide some relief for your financial situation.

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