College of Eastern Utah still carries the lowest tuition among Utah's nine-public college higher education system as administrators decided not to increase second-tier tuition for students in the 2007-08 academic year. It is the only college to not ask for a second-tier tuition increase in the state.
Most colleges have not agreed exactly upon what they will ask students to pay for tuition next fall, but CEU is adamant about not increasing the second-tier tuition for its students. Southern Utah University and Dixie State College are seeking the largest increase with a projected five to six percent request at SUU and Dixie seeking at least a 10 percent increase. Salt Lake Community College is expected to increase two percent with Snow College also seeking a two percent increase.
"First-tier tuition is set by the board of regents to cover faculty and staff pay increases. Second-tier is allowed for institutional priorities," said Kevin Walthers, CEU vice president of finances.
"Increasing tuition beyond what the regents require for salaries places a burden on schools like CEU to fulfill their comprehensive community college mission," he added.
"Dixie State College was recently identified as one of the lowest cost four-year schools in the nation. Students at CEU can get the same lower-division credit from Ph.D.-trained faculty for nearly 20 percent less," Walthers said.
At the annual tuition hearing on March 5, CEU President Ryan Thomas told a mostly student audience that the outside number for fees students would be charged is $183.70, which is the fee proposal of the Price campus.
"I am inclined to try to cut that back so the increase is closer to $8 and $13 to get it down to the four percent so that it will be more welcomed by the (Board of) Regents. And how we get it down will likely be altered by whether the Burtenshaw fee will have to be retained or whether the fee will be cut or some portion retained," he said. "Our fees are not set locally, they are set by the (Board of) Regents and we finally are subject to their review of fees. And that tends to be a review of processes and that tends to be comparative."
"What we are trying to do is get within the regents' practice of the four percent increase," he continued.
Combining tuition and fees, CEU is a better bargain than it was five years ago, according to the 2006-07 Student Guide to Utah's Colleges and Universities. At $2,090, it charges the lowest tuition and fees in the state. Five years ago, it was second lowest in the state at $1,466 per year, with Snow the best bargain at $1,312.
This year Snow College charges the second lowest tuition and fees in Utah at $2,164, followed by Salt Lake Community College at $2,404, Dixie State College at $2,492 and Utah Valley State College at $3,308.
Weber State University charges $3,434, Southern Utah University charges $3,564, Brigham Young University charges $3,620, Utah State University charges $3,948, University of Utah charges $4,662 and Westminster College charges $21,030.
Over the five year time period, CEU's tuition and fees at 43 percent, still lower than 61 percent at the UofU, 62 percent at WSU, 64 percent at USU, 65 percent at Snow College, 68 percent at Dixie and 73 percent at SUU.