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A Message from Janine Davidson, Ph.D., MSU Denver President
Sept. 8, 2020
Dear Roadrunner community,
I’m writing to share some important information regarding tuition and fees for the spring 2021 semester. On Friday, Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously to increase spring 2021 tuition by 3% for resident and nonresident undergraduate students. This translates to an increase of $8 per credit hour for resident students and $25 for nonresidents. The board also voted to maintain most of the reduced fall 2020 fees structure for spring 2021. This email will detail the measures we are taking to reduce the impact of the tuition increase on our students.
Let me start by saying that this was an incredibly difficult decision. Trustees and University leaders struggled to balance the financial impact on students at this challenging time with the long-term financial health and sustainability of the University. The decision was also not made quickly but is the result of months of research and discussion by the Budget Recommendation Committee, including representation from students.
That said, we know that many of our students’ financial security has already been diminished by the COVID-19 pandemic, so the University is working to find other ways to help them bridge potential gaps, which will include:
MSU Denver is further relieving the burden on students through a salary increase for student employees. 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 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.
Over the past five months, MSU Denver has worked tirelessly to save money and cut spending, including enacting mandatory furloughs for faculty and staff. The efforts allowed the University to avoid a tuition increase for the fall 2020 semester. But ultimately, if we continue making cuts, we will not be able to fulfill our academic mission or properly serve our students.
With these changes to our tuition rate, resident undergraduate students taking 15 credit hours will see an overall tuition increase of $108 (other factors reduce the total), and nonresidents taking 15 credit hours will see a tuition increase of $337. Even with this increase, however, MSU Denver maintains the lowest tuition and fees of any university along the Front Range.
I understand that many of our students will have additional questions and concerns. I encourage you to visit this webpage for more information on resources and to attend the upcoming virtual Student Town Hall on Sept. 15 at 4 p.m. You can submit questions in advance of the event here. If you can’t tune in, please feel free to share your feedback via the idea catcher on my webpage.
These are challenging times for all of us as we grapple with the pandemic, an economic crisis and the circumstances that precipitated the historic anti-racism movement. I am grateful to each of you for your understanding and patience as we navigate the future of our University together. Please stay tuned for more communications through the fall as we look forward to the spring 2021 semester.
Janine Davidson, Ph.D.