BP 4-20 – Student Tuition and Fees/Scholarships

State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education

BP 4-20

APPROVED: December 13, 1990
EFFECTIVE: December 13, 1990
REVISED: October 14, 1994
REVISED: July 13, 1995
EFFECTIVE: Summer Term, 1996
REVISED: September 11, 1997
EFFECTIVE: July 1, 1997
REVISED: February 12, 1998
EFFECTIVE: February 12, 1998
REPEALED: September 14, 2000
READOPTED/REVISED: August 25, 2001
READOPTED/REVISED: February 13, 2013

/ Dr. John Trefny /
Dr. John Trefny, Chair


All tuition rates, fees, and charges for services that are specifically delineated below, must be approved annually by the Board. Tuition and fee rates should provide maximum student access consistent with generating adequate revenue to operate quality instructional programs and maintain college services.


Special tuition rates may be assessed with approval of the Board. Colleges may apply to the Board for a tuition rate higher than the system-wide rate if the additional tuition revenue is needed to cover extraordinary costs associated with a particular course and/or program, which costs are mandated by outside agencies, such as regulatory agencies. The higher tuition rate, if approved, shall apply only to the course or program in which the extraordinary costs are incurred.



Any amount assessed to students as a condition of enrollment in the college and/or as a condition of enrollment in a particular course or program. Specific types of fees are further defined below.

Bond Fees:

Fees assessed and pledged to build, renovate and/or operate and maintain auxiliary facilities or, as allowable in statute, academic facilities.

Instructional Fees:

Course Specific Fees: Mandatory fees associated with courses that help defray the cost of offering specific courses. These include, but are not limited to: field trips; required materials fees for laboratory, music, art, vocational, occupational, technical, and physical education courses; uniforms and specialized equipment; testing fees required for completion of a course; malpractice insurance; digital textbooks; and high/medium cost fees.

Program Fees:

Mandatory fees associated with academic programs that help defray the costs of offering specific programs. These include, but are not limited to, music, art, vocational, occupational, technical, and physical education programs; testing fees required for completion of a program; and malpractice insurance.

Student Fees:

Student Activity Fees: Mandatory fees associated with enrollment in the college and/or campus that are assessed for a specific purpose. These fees include, but are not limited to, student centers, athletics, student government, contract health services, and/or similar services and facilities; non-bonded parking fees; and any general fee, the revenue from which is appropriated by student government for a specific purpose.

Use Fees:

Administrative Fees Unrelated To A Specific Academic Course or Program:
These are mandatory campus-wide fees charged to provide administrative services including, but not limited to, renewal and replacement equipment costs, technology fees, computer labs and printers, registration fees, satellite center fees, wireless access, digital databases, and AHEC-related charges. Registration fees must be charged at all schools but may be waived at the college’s discretion.

Auxiliary Sales and Services:

Charges to provide elective services such as housing and food service plans.

Miscellaneous Charges/Charge for Service:

Charges to cover the cost of
delivering specific services which are incidental to the instructional activities, which include, but are not limited to, health insurance, matriculation, graduation and commencement, late registration, Accuplacer, optional materials fees, deferred payment, promissory notes, return check fees, and late tuition payment.

Sales and Services of Educational Activities:

Charges to provide elective services such as fitness center charges and fees for testing and other services that are non-mandatory or are strongly encouraged.


All fee rates must be approved annually by the Board. Each fee must be separately itemized on the student billing statement. Such itemization shall not be required for any academic course fee that is specifically listed in the course catalog. Any optional fees or charges that are automatically assessed unless the student chooses not to pay, except for health care fees, shall be refunded by the institution or organization that receives the fee, upon request, to any student who paid the fee. Such refund shall be available during the entire term in which the fee was paid.

Fees shall not be substituted for tuition and shall not be used to provide general revenue to the college. Tuition and/or fees may be used for academic facilities construction subject to Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) fee policies. Any such building must comply with the provisions of series 16 of Board Policy.
Under certain circumstances outlined below, students are required to approve new fees and increases in existing fees. In all other circumstances, student approval is not required. Student approval through a majority vote of the student body is required for these fee categories:

  1. Student Fees: A new student activity fee or an increase in an existing student activity fee (in excess of inflation only).
  2. Bond Fees: A new fee or fee increase (in excess of inflation only) assessed for the construction, renovation, and /or operation of auxiliary or academic facilities or operations.


The college president, or his or her delegate, is responsible for administering all student elections concerning fees. The plan will include the form of notice of how students are informed of the amount and purpose of the proposed fee, the number of years that the fee will be imposed, and the effect of enrollment fluctuations. A simple majority of the votes cast determines the outcome of any student election. Colleges may conduct a student vote once each term. This election will be scheduled in consultation with student government and will be announced to the students at least thirty (30) days in advance. No new fee, fee increases or fee extension that is defeated by a vote of the student body may be resubmitted for a student vote until the following regularly scheduled
election. The college shall specify when its regularly scheduled election will be held.

The college president is responsible for the administration of student fee monies, which includes the obligation to approve and administer all student elections concerning fees. The college president, in consultation with the student government, shall establish an institutional fee plan. New or increased mandatory fees which are charged to all students enrolled in a particular college or campus which is proposed for implementation after July 1, 2012, must comply with the procedures established in this policy and the institutional plan. The institutional fee plan shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

  1. Defining and categorizing all fee types, including describing the purpose of each fee category.
  2. Procedures for specifying levels of student participation in setting student fees and disclosure about how student fees are allocated
  3. A process for approving fee assessment or increases which includes a minimum of thirty days notice to the student government. The notice shall specify the amount of the new fee or fee increase, the reason for the fee assessment or increase; the purpose for which the institution will use revenues received from the fee assessment or increase and whether the fee assessment or increase is temporary (if temporary, repeal date must be specified) or permanent.
  4. A complaint resolution process for disputes. Students and student representatives may address the Board during discussion and action of student fee proposals.
  5. Procedures for a student referendum relating to new or increased student fees pledged as security for evidence of indebtedness or other obligations with prior board approval of the referendum plan. The procedure shall specify how students will be informed of the amount and purpose of the proposed bond fee, the number of years that the fee will be imposed, and the effect of enrollment fluctuations. Such fee assessments/increases approved at a student election are not subject to the complaint resolution process.
  6. Specify how students will be informed at each payment period concerning each fee, its purposes and whether the costs of collecting the fee are reimbursed to the institution from the revenue collected.
  7. Establishing procedures for the review of fee fund balances, including the thresholds at which such reviews are required.

Institutional fee plans and any subsequent revisions shall be submitted for annual review by the Board. The Board may delegate the review and approval of the individual institutional fee plans to the System President or his or her delegate. The approved institutional fee plans shall be made available on the college’s web site.


Colleges are authorized to offer scholarships to students. The scholarships may be either categorical or general. The following scholarship programs are authorized by the Board. Institutional scholarships may only be offered to students enrolled in resident instruction courses. All scholarship students are eligible for FTE funding, assuming all other FTE reporting requirements are met.

Categorical Scholarships:

The colleges are authorized to offer scholarships to the following categories of students:

  1. Senior Citizens – Scholarships may be offered for up to 50% of the cost of tuition for persons over 60 years of age.
  2. State Employees Classified Training Programs – Scholarships will be offered for up to 50% of the cost of tuition for state classified employees certified for training by the procedures of the State Department of Personnel. The scholarships shall also be available to Legislative Council staff, staff of the Court System and other groups of non-classified state employees which may be designated by the System President. Scholarship procedures shall be developed by the System President in cooperation with the administrators of such personnel systems.
  3. Farm/Ranch Management and Small Business Assistance – Scholarships may be offered in an amount to be specified annually by the System President for students in these programs.
  4. Residence Hall Student Scholarships – Scholarships may be offered for students living in Residence Halls in an amount to be specified annually by the System President.

In order to provide access to the greatest number of eligible students, a student may not be awarded more than one type of categorical scholarship during a given term.

General Scholarship Programs:

Colleges may offer institutional scholarships to students not included in a categorical program (or additional scholarships to students already receiving categorical scholarships).

All scholarships are subject to any reporting requirements specified by the System, CCHE, the State Controller and/or the State Auditor.


Only registered students paying the required tuition will be permitted to attend classes for which they are registered. The president of the college may provide exemptions to this rule only in the event that the student who is exempted is registered at the college and paying tuition. System employees may be granted professional development tuition benefits in accord with BP 3-60 and State of Colorado Fiscal Rule 2-8.04. The President of the Community College of Denver is authorized to extend professional development tuition benefits, on a reciprocal basis, to employees of Metropolitan State College, the University of Colorado – Denver and to employees of the Auraria Higher Education Center. Senior citizens over 60 years of age may also receive tuition benefits.

Tuition Refunds for Military Personnel, Individuals with Specialized Skills, and Firefighters Consistent with federal law, students registered for courses who are in the National Guard or in the military reserves shall have the right to receive a tuition and fee refund upon request in the event they are called to active duty as the result of partial or general mobilization. Further, such students who are already on active duty and are deployed by order of the commander in chief shall have the same right. Nothing in this policy would require such a refund if a student wishes to take an incomplete grade.

In times of emergency, certain students (e.g., reserve military units, individuals with specialized skills, or firefighters) are called to provide services to the country. When the call for service or national emergency is issued, it is often necessary for students to interrupt their coursework in mid-semester without advance notice. Colleges’ tuition procedures should explicitly recognize that normal refund and withdrawal policies may not be appropriate and make provisions for individuals who leave the institution mid-semester to respond to a state or national emergency, including:

  • Colleges’ tuition policies shall permit reimbursement for tuition paid by reservists called to active status during times of national emergency.
  • Colleges may offer these individuals the option of crediting the current term’s tuition to a future semester’s tuition charges.
  • Colleges shall waive any fee for breaking the room and board contract for reservists who are called to active status during a national or state emergency.
  • Colleges shall refund any fees paid for room and board based on the date that the individual left the residence hall.
  • Colleges shall adopt policy language that ensures that individuals who are unable to complete a course due to a call to active status under a state or national emergency have a choice either to withdraw from the course without a grade or receive an incomplete with an opportunity to complete the course work at a later time.
  • The refund and grading policies should recognize that normal withdrawal procedures may not apply in this situation, e.g., withdrawal timetables.

Colleges will not be penalized financially by state support for interrupted enrollment and will be allowed to include in-state students who are called to active duty in the FTE report during the semester they are called to active duty.


The System President shall promulgate procedures as necessary to implement this policy.