Metropolitan State University of Denver will receive a 13.4% increase in its base funding from the state in fiscal 2023-24, the highlight of a successful legislative session with several positive outcomes for the University. 

State funding outcomes

After the governor’s November budget proposal recommended a 6.8% increase in the allocation for higher-education institutions, MSU Denver advocated throughout the session for more investment and helped secure an overall 11% increase for higher ed. MSU Denver’s percentage increase is higher than average — the highest of any university for the third consecutive year — in part because the funding formula rewards colleges and universities for educating first-generation students, students of color and low-income students.  

The legislature gave institutions flexibility to increase tuition up to 5% and approved continuation funding for the Colorado Rural Healthcare Workforce Initiative, of which MSU Denver is a funding recipient.  

The University also secured funding for two critical technology projects:  

  • $795,000 for Network Infrastructure Modernization  
  • $1 million for Reimagining the Campus Digital Experience to close out the Finance and Human Resources Workday transition.  

In addition, the General Assembly approved $33.2 million for the Auraria Higher Education Center’s campuswide replacement of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment, plus four controlled maintenance projects, which will benefit several shared buildings used by students, faculty and staff.  

MSU Denver legislative-advocacy impact 

  • $11 million increase in base funding (13.4% increase) 
  • $1.8 million for campus information-technology projects 
  • Weighed in on nearly 80 bills 

Bills passed 

The first bill introduced in the House of Representatives this session, HB-1001, was a priority for MSU Denver to expand eligibility for cash stipends to support educator candidates in their residency period. Among other bills, MSU Denver also successfully supported passage of HB-1261 to eliminate the requirement to demonstrate registration in the selective service to enroll in a higher-education institution and SB-205 to provide $1,500 scholarships to high school students who enroll in an in-demand or high-priority postsecondary pathway. 

MSU Denver also joined Colorado Mesa University to support legislation to designate institutions as first-generation-serving. Although the bill did not pass, there were important lessons learned as MSU Denver continues to advocate for greater visibility and support for all students, including those who are among the first generation in their families to attend an institute of higher education. 

The General Assembly adjourned its 2023 session May 8 and will reconvene next January. If you would like to participate in the University’s legislative advocacy throughout the year, join the MSU Denver Champions program.