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On January 26, Colorado Mountain College (CMC) held its regularly scheduled work sessions and meeting via Zoom where they unanimously voted to increase tuition for 2021 and 2022 by five dollars per credit hour. With lower fees for the college’s Learning Materials Program, the actual net increase in the cost of tuition and books is only one dollar per credit hour.

The CMC Learning Materials Program is in its third year and provides books and other learning materials to students for a standard per-credit fee. The board’s action reduced the LMP fee by four dollars from $29 per credit hour to $25 per credit hour.

Tuition rates for 2021 and 2022 will be $90 per credit for in-district students, $180 per credit for service-area students, $190 per credit for in-state student and $466 for non-resident students. CMC administrators expect that the college will continue to have among the most affordable tuition and fees in the state and nation.

The board also voted to approve several tuition discounts. One discount is to encourage older students, those 23 and older, to take more credits which would increase their likelihood of finishing a degree or certificate.

In-district adult students enrolled in 12 credit hours or more would receive six of those credits for free after completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This scholarship follows a precedent set by the successful President’s Scholarship, which grants $1,000 to graduating high school seniors after they complete a FAFSA.

Additionally, the board approved a new discount program designed to recruit and retain CMC students to work in local businesses, thereby aiding the economic recovery and long-term economic health of our region. The “learn like a local” program allows non-resident and in-state students to benefit from in-district tuition rates, which will be paid by local employers, in return for agreeing to work a regular workload or accept a job upon graduation. This is a modification to the existing District Employer Sponsored Rate.

CMC leadership confirms that it is focused on maintaining ongoing operating costs at or below inflation. The college is starting a new initiative to bring additional housing opportunities to a region where housing prices increased faster than inflation in 2020. Housing is one of the greatest costs of attending college for those living within the CMC footprint.

Trustees voted to introduce or increase course-specific fees in automotive service technology, environmental science, phlebotomy, introduction to clinical skills, product design, and career and professional skills in sustainability. They also approved introducing or increasing instructional program fees in action sports business, ski and snowboard business, digital media, graphic design and professional photography.

Trustees approved an increase in student fees at CMC Steamboat Springs, which was introduced by student government and approved by 90.1 percent of students voting on that campus. The Steamboat Student Government Association requested that the fee structure change to a flat rate, with a net increase of $15 for full-time students, thus providing more funding for sponsored events, and for health and wellness opportunities. Student fees at Spring Valley and Leadville, the college’s other residential campuses, remain the same as 2020-21.

Trustees also voted to approve increased room and board rates by 4.9 and 3.6 percent, respectively.  However, CMC management reported that the proposed room rate is a “not to exceed” rate that may be adjusted downward to encourage students to return to campus in fall 2021.

Trustees unanimously approved a lease on the Leadville campus, with Charter (formerly Bresnan) Communications. This is for a long-term lease of a cell tower, which had previously been leased on a month-to-month basis.