Public universities and colleges across Colorado could hike their tuition by another nine percent, up to 25 percent, for the 2011-12 school year, but there’s a long road ahead before such a scenario becomes a reality next spring. For one, schools don’t yet know how much state tax support they can expect next year. While Colorado’s Department of Higher Education is predicting $555 million, notes Ed News Colorado, some fear the figure could be as low as $300 million, which might spawn efforts to raise tuition even higher.

The Pueblo Chieftain uses Adams State College to explain possible consequences if state funding for tuition remains low. If the school’s funding decreases by $1.7 million, as predicted, administrators will likely seek to raise tuition by as much as 11 percent for five consecutive years starting in 2011, meaning a full-time student would go from paying $2,952 a year in 2010-11 to $4,974 in 2015-16.

The Denver Post talks with Stephen Jordan, president of Metropolitan State College of Denver, who would like to see a 21 percent increase in tuition next year. He blames the state system for not making higher education a priority: “You don’t get services for free. The public either has to decide we are going to do it through shared responsibility, which is the tax system, or it is the responsibility of the individual. So far, the public has said it is the responsibility of the individual.”

Since mid-2009, the state has slashed higher-ed spending by about 60 percent.