Get the Bang Out of Your Buck


Posted Sun, Apr 28, 2013

DENVER, Auraria Campus — College tuition is always escalating. Universities will put you in an inescapable debt. Community colleges will be a smaller debt, but a debt no doubt. Junior colleges will provide a good education for the money, but will only earn you an associate’s degree. With the economy in the shape that it’s in, it is easy to dismiss the benefits of obtaining a higher education. Getting the bang for your buck seems near impossible.

Metropolitan State University offers what may be a startling opportunity for those who are concerned about money. Full-time students are charged the same tuition amount no matter the amount of credits being taken. Whether it’s 12 credits or 18, the tuition is a flat rate.

“It’s a great deal, but…,” said MSU alum Marcela Montoya.

Does it sounds too good to be true? It might just be.

With tuition staying the same for all full-time students, it gives them a chance to get their degree done in a timely manner at a cheaper rate. However, those that are only able to attend part-time don’t receive a similar deal.

MSU is mainly a commuter school.

The student body is almost entirely non-residential and overwhelmingly from the greater Denver metropolitan region, with 94 percent coming from Denver, Arapahoe, Jefferson, Adams, Boulder and Douglas counties, according to the MSU webpage.

Many of these commuters have other obligations besides school. Work and family can make it difficult to attend school full-time.

“Working and going to school was hard and then I had a baby,” said former MSU student Ashleigh Jarret-Wood. “It became near impossible to keep my grades up and taking 18 credits was not a possibility.”

Part-time is the solution for many with these obligations. But, this comes with extra semesters with an unstable tuition. Debt will rack up fast.

“I couldn’t take full-time hours at Metro. It would have been too difficult to do all the other things I had to do,” Montoya said.

Montoya was a student at Denver University before transferring to MSU. She remembers the tuition being a flat rate and thought it was a great deal.

“I wish I could have taken 18 credits at Metro and gotten it done. My life just didn’t allow for it,” Montoya said.

A great deal for those that can find the time to take a full load of classes, but for those that can’t, a deal is nowhere in sight.

So what is the reason for the low cost for full-time students?

An employee at the Office of the Bursar said, “A lot of students can’t take full-time hours but the school tries to get them to.”

It is a steal if 18 credits can be handled. Full-time students make up 61 percent of the student population while 38 percent are part-time. ( Perhaps MSU is on to something. With a cheaper tuition at a flat rate, higher education might just be the way to go.


Metropolitan State University In-State Tuition Breakdown

                              Credits                                                                 Cost

3                                                                     $816.63

6                                                                     $1,446.80

9                                                                     $2,055.62

12                                                                   $2,670.66

15                                                                   $2,670.66

18                                                                   $2,670.66


For more information on tuition &financial aid at MSU contact:

Financial Aid Office: 303-556-8593

Office of the Bursar: 303-556-6188





About Emily Fox

Emily Pennetti is a Metro State Journalism Student in Denver, Co. She works as a cosmetologist and freelance writer on the side.

View all posts by Emily Fox

2 Responses to “Get the Bang Out of Your Buck”

  1. Aaron Lambert Says:

    Very informative article! I can definitely relate to some of the students you interviewed. I wish I could take full-time hours at MSU, but this other thing called living always seems to get in the way :P. I liked the breakdown of tuition you included, I wasn’t aware it was cheaper for full-time students than it is for part-time. You’d think they’d be able to cut as a deal too!!


  2. Davy Says:

    Great information in this article. Excellent headline.


Leave a Reply to Aaron Lambert