Student Budget Parameters – Ms. Emma Fedorchuk, CDHE, presented the proposed 2021-22 student budget parameters, which institutions use to establish cost of attendance for students attending their institutions. A student's cost of attendance determines the amount of need-based financial aid they may be eligible for. Ms. Fedorchuk explained that there were no significant changes to the methodology, with the exception of a decrease to the upper limit of the books and supplies budget. This portion of the budget was decreased to reflect the ability for students to save on textbook costs through online sources, open educational resources, and other methods. Commissioners raised questions about how the parameters incorporated the cost of online subscription-based course materials and broadband internet, which staff indicated they would look into in order to provide an update at the full CCHE meeting.
Funding Formula Scenarios for Governor’s FY 2021-22 Budget Request – Mr. Jason Schrock and Ms. Emma Fedorchuk, CDHE, discussed potential funding formula options and different funding scenarios for Commissioner feedback that were being considered for the Governor’s FY 2021-22 budget request that will be submitted to the legislature on November 2, 2020. Mr. Schrock explained that the formula options and funding amounts were only scenarios as the Governor’s budget request is confidential until released on November 2, 2020. He indicated that the Department thought allocating all funding through Step 2 of the formula under the funding scenarios discussed had merit; using Step 2 only is simple, straightforward, and preserves the integrity of the performance aspects of the formula enacted through HB 20-1366. The Commissioners also heard feedback from institutions on the formula scenarios. Commissioners and institutions expressed that the higher funding level ranges presented in the scenarios were an improvement from the funding range discussed at the prior committee meeting. Some representatives of institutions expressed the need for their base cost increases to be funded in the formula, and also acknowledged that some institutions may need additional funding assistance which could be provided through Step 1 of the formula. The Commissioners discussed alternative ways to allocate funding through the formula. At the end of their discussion and after hearing feedback from institutions, the commissioners approved the following motion: The Committee hereby recommends that the Commission (1) approve the utilization of the presented statutory approach (utilizing Step 2 performance metrics of HB 20-1366) for the 2021-2022 funding formula (2) strongly urges the Governor’s office and the Legislature to additionally invest in Colorado Higher Education [including through Steps 1 & 3] to address IHE core minimum costs and to address systemic underfunding of Colorado IHEs.