The Colorado Statesman - New higher ed funding model out of the gate

Since 2004 the state has allocated money to public colleges and universities based on two factors: enrollment, covered under the College Opportunity Fund stipend; and fee-for-service, to cover high-cost areas such as graduate programs, professional degree programs and remedial education. The 2004 legislation also required institutions to enter into performance contracts that would outline specific goals for each institution.

But the legislation never quite worked the way it was intended. The original legislation came during the first of two recessions, which resulted in millions of dollars in budget cuts. For example, the original COF stipend was valued at $80 per credit hour, with a maximum of $2,400 per student per year. Before the recession, the stipend had gone up to $92 per credit hour, in 2008. It was cut to $68 per credit hour in 2009 and last year was at $66 per credit hour, although another $35 million was put into the COF through separate legislation.