Nic Ramos, a sophomore at the University of Colorado at Boulder, can’t get over how much he pays for out-of-state tuition. The $14,309.51 per semester is “just an absurd amount of money,” he tells the New York Times. So, in a symbolic gesture to drive that point home, the Californian paid for his spring semester with dollar bills, a 50-cent piece, and one penny, saying, “I wanted to give the school a different way to look at tuition.” In-state tuition, on the other hand, currently stands at $7,018 to attend CU’s College of Arts and Sciences, but that’s slated to go up a stunning 9.5 percent in the next school year, notes the Daily Camera. In the meantime, CU’s governing body, the Board of Regents, is expected to explore the idea of guaranteeing students no increases midway through four years of undergraduate work.

One of the chief issues facing higher education is identifying ongoing funding sources, especially in light of the state’s $1.1 billion budget shortfall that “could be closed in part at the expense of colleges, which are a handy target considering they are one of the few budget areas that aren’t hemmed in by mandatory funding levels,” writes the Pueblo Chieftain. At Colorado State University-Pueblo, interim President Julio Leon has been forced to make cuts because student enrollment didn’t match projections, the Chieftain also reports.