(Photo: CPR)
The Colorado Commission on Higher Education, the body that oversees colleges and universities, on Thursday signed off on a new funding plan to tie some state funding to performance in several areas.

The new system approved by the commission awards 25 percent of funds above $650 million in state funding for hitting certain targets.

These targets include increasing the graduation rates, reducing gaps between demographic groups and increasing the number of students passing basic-skills classes.

“It’s a public grade about how well they’re doing in meeting their objectives,” Lt. Governor Joe Garcia said during an interview this past spring. “So we think that [the awards] will help institutions stay very focused on these goals.”

Each college or university has an individual performance contract with specific targets but it could be years before the plan goes into effect.

State funding for higher education must reach $706 million first,  a figure that is much lower this year as state lawmakers approved $544 million for colleges and universities 

Additionally, the commission also approved on Thursday a new admissions policy