Ensuring Affordability

Growth Funding

The Utah Board of Higher Education created a task force that recommended the adoption of a model for funding growth in Utah’s public higher education system. The model provides funding to USHE institutions for each additional 100 student full time enrollment (FTE) growth in vocational, lower division, and upper division courses based on actual instructional, academic support, and student services costs. The model pro-rates the costs based on institutional mission and tax funding and adjusts for institutional size (with smaller institutions receiving slightly higher funding). In the November 2019 meeting the Board approved using the model to make an additional budget request for growth funding beginning fiscal year 2021. 


Funding as institutions hit milestones of new student full time enrollment (FTE)
  • Student FTE
    • Budget-related
    • Resident
    • Annualized actual
      • Calendar year
      • Spring/Summer/Fall
    • Course level
      • Vocational (credit)
      • Lower division
      • Upper division
  • Milestone: 100 FTE
  • Based on USHE instructional/full cost study
    • Appropriated adjusted cost per FTE
    • Undergraduate
      • Vocational
      • Lower division
      • Upper division
    • Pro-Rated for tax funding
      • 50% for research institutions
      • 55% for regional institutions
      • 70% for community colleges
    • Adjusted for institutional size
      • 100% for > 10,000 FTE
      • 115% for 6,000 to 10,000 FTE
      • 120% for 3,000 to 6, 000 FTE

Tuition Funding

The process for setting tuition for Utah’s eight public institutions of higher education involves three major steps:

  1. Institutional “Truth in Tuition” hearings open to students and the public
  2. Approval by institutional Boards of Trustees
  3. Approval by the Utah Board of Higher Education

Institutional proposals for tuition and fee adjustments that pass the first two steps are reviewed by the Utah Board of Higher Education in accordance with Board policy R510, Tuition.  In 2018 and 2019 the Board made several changes to their tuition-review process including the elimination of systemwide uniform tuition increases and a more in-depth review of institution-specific proposals.  As part of those changes, the Board commissioned a comprehensive study of:

  1. Tuition and student aid policies
  2. The value of nonresident students
  3. Measuring college affordability

The full report was presented to the Board in January 2020 and will provide a foundation for future policy discussion and enhancement.