Amid economic uncertainty, MSU Denver locks tuition
Initiative aims to keep college costs steady as cash-strapped students struggle with rising cost of living.
With inflation at a 40-year high and the country facing a potential recession, Metropolitan State University of Denver is locking its tuition rate for current and incoming students.
Administrators said the move provides certainty around college costs for cash-strapped students as other living expenses rise.
“Our students are facing tremendous financial challenges right now,” said MSU Denver President Janine Davidson, Ph.D. “Many are working multiple jobs just to keep up with rising costs for rent, groceries, gas and other necessities, while also persevering to earn their college degrees. We want them to know that their tuition is one cost that won’t be rising.”
In-state undergraduate students taking 12 credit hours of classes who don’t receive financial aid pay $3,378 per semester. Out-of-state students taking that same class load pay $10,510. The tuition lock applies to in-state and out-of-state undergraduates, though the vast majority of MSU Denver’s approximately 17,000 students are Colorado residents.
Under the University’s tuition-lock program, which does not apply to fees, current tuition rates will remain the same for four years for new undergraduate freshmen. Current undergraduate students’ tuition will be locked in for three years, and tuition for new students who transfer to MSU Denver from other institutions will be locked for two years.
It’s welcome news for students such as Jess Figueroa, a Communications Studies major who, like more than half of her classmates at MSU Denver, is among the first generation in her family to attend college.
Figueroa, who pays her own way through college, works in the University’s advising office during the week and holds down a second job on weekends, working for an organization that cares for disabled children. And she’ll soon begin a third part-time job as a receptionist to help pay for the rising cost of gas, groceries and other expenses that are squeezing her ability to pay for school.
“I drive to campus from Brighton. It’s pricey, to say the least,” Figueroa said. “This (tuition lock) gives me a lot of peace of mind. I know how much I’ll have to pay each semester rather than trying to predict the cost.”
MSU Denver’s tuition-lock guarantee is the University’s latest effort to make college more accessible while maintaining high-quality academic programs. Already among the most affordable four-year institutions in Colorado, MSU Denver this year extended its Roadrunner Promise. The program pays tuition and fees for students whose families earn less than $60,000 per year and whose fees aren’t covered by other federal, state and institutional aid and scholarship programs.
The University also recently announced a program to cover college costs for Indigenous students and an expansion of the Displaced Aurarian Scholarship, which pays tuition for the descendants of families forced to move from the Auraria neighborhood when the campus was built in the 1970s.
In addition to making future college costs more affordable, University administrators hope the tuition-lock program serves as an incentive for students to complete their degrees within the four years allowed under the tuition-rate guarantee.
“The more quickly our students graduate and enter the workforce, the more quickly they’re earning good salaries, shoring up their own financial security and strengthening Colorado’s economy,” Davidson said.
For more information on MSU Denver tuition and fees, visit the bursar’s tuition-lock page.