INCARCERATED STUDENTS
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

ACCREDITATION

Q
. Is Adams State University accredited?

A. Yes, Adams State University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. This is the highest level of accreditation in the United States.

TRANSFERBILITY OF CREDITS

Q
. Will my credits transfer to another school?

A. Transferability of credit is based on the decision of the institution accepting the credits. Due to our level of accreditation, there is a high likelihood the receiving institution would accept them. Having noted this; it is highly recommended you seek pre-approval of your credits from the college or university you are planning to transfer the credits to. 

SAT/ACT

Q
. Do I need ACT or SAT scores to take course at Adams State University? 

A. We do not require your SAT/ACT scores if you (1) have already completed a minimum of 12 credit hours of transferrable credit and/ or (2) are seeking admission to the Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree programs.

PAYMENT PLANS?

Q
. Do you offer a payment plan?

A. No, payment in full is required at the time of enrollment.

PRIOR CREDITS

Q
. I am interested in your distance degree program but already have some college credits. Will they be accepted into your program?

A. Prior to your official enrollment in the distance degree program, our program advisor will do a free "unofficial" evaluation of your previous college work if you make the request. In the "unofficial" evaluation the advisor will attempt to show where your previous college credits fit into the ASU degree requirements.

Q. Some of my college credits were taken more than 10 years ago. Will these credits still apply to my degree?

A. Any college credit earned more than 10 years before the date of admission or re-admission is not applicable toward your major core or emphasis requirements unless it is approved by the department chair of your intended major. However, in many cases, elective and general education credit over 10 years of age may be applied toward your degree.

UNOFFICIAL EVALUATION

Q
. Where do I send my transcripts for the "unofficial" evaluation?

A. You must request in writing the unofficial evaluation and include copies of your transcripts for review. Please provide contact information such as your mailing address. For this purpose, the transcripts may be unofficial copies, but must be legible. The transcripts and letter should be sent to:

Adams State University
Office of Extended Studies
208 Edgemont Blvd., Suite 3000
Alamosa, CO 81101

Fax: 719-587-7974 The "unofficial" evaluation is subject to change based on the formal evaluation and acceptance of previous college transfer course work by the Admissions Office and appropriate academic departments.

ADMISSION PROCESS

Q
. How do I become admitted to Adams State and the Distance Degree Program?

A. In order to proceed with admission to our program you will need to submit an application for admission, hand-written explanation of crime/felony, and official transcripts from all previously attended post-secondary institutions. Failure to provide official transcripts from all previously attended colleges/universities may result in delays in your admission, dismissal or rejection. The transcripts must be official and must be mailed directly from the institution to:

Adams State University
Office of Extended Studies
208 Edgemont Blvd., Suite 3000
Alamosa, CO 81101

COSTS

Q
. What are the costs?

A. The Distance Degree Program Admission Application fee of $30 is waived for incarcerated students. In addition, a one-time matriculation fee of $50, which is assessed after you submit your first course registration, is waived. Tuition and any fees for the Adams State University Distance Learning courses are listed in the catalog and on the Extended Studies web site. Most courses have basic tuition charges but some may have additional materials fees. The cost of textbooks is not included in the course tuition.

FINANCIAL AID

Q
. Is financial aid available?

A. Congress removed federal financial educational aid for incarcerated individuals when the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act passed in 1994. Therefore, no federal aid in the form of Pell Grants or guaranteed loans is available to students in state or federal correctional facilities. If you are a veteran or a child of a veteran, you may be eligible for veteran’s educational benefits. Most incarcerated students utilize private sources of funding to pay for their education. This can include funding from savings, family members, supporters, church groups, non-profit organizations, etc. These are some sources of information:
http://studentaid.ed.gov/eligibility/criminal-convictions
http://studentaid.ed.gov/sites/default/files/aid-info-for-incarcerated-individuals.pdf

Upon release from federal or state prison, you may be eligible for federal aid. You must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov. In addition, you must be admitted to a degree seeking program. Again, just remember that you cannot use or access any Pell Grant or federal student loan funds while you are incarcerated.

VA BENEFITS/ GI Bill

All questions regarding GI Bill funding should to go to our VA specialist Kara Trujillo. You can reach Ms. Trujillo at:

Kara Trujillo
Adams State University Records Office
208 Edgemont Blvd.
Alamosa, CO 81101
She can also be reached at 719-587-7322

ADVISOR HELP

Q
. Will I be able to contact my advisor if I have questions?

A. You will be provided with your advisor's telephone number, mailing address and e-mail address. Your advisor will be ready to answer any questions you send.

Q. Because I have limited access to communication, can a family member or friend correspond with ASU for me?

A. Yes. When you are admitted, you will be provided with a Third Party Release form which will allow you to designate whom you authorize ASU to release your student educational information to.

TEXT BOOKS

Q. How will I obtain my textbooks?

A. You or someone on your behalf will need to contact the Adams State University Bookstore to order your textbooks. The ASU Bookstore provides all textbook information for courses offered through the distance degree program except for courses offered through the Center for Legal Studies. You may reach the bookstore at 800-548-6679 ext. 7981. You may also contact them by mail at:

Adams State University Bookstore
Student Union Building
208 Edgemont Blvd
Alamosa, CO 81102

Books for courses offered by The Center for Legal Studies may be ordered by calling 800-522-7737 or online at www.legalstudies.com.

NO COMPUTER AND INTERNET

Q.
Can I earn an ASU degree without coming to campus and without the use of a computer and internet?

A. Yes, numerous degrees are available via print based correspondence: Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Arts- Business emphasis, Associate of Science- Business emphasis, Bachelor of Arts- Business Administration, Bachelor of Science- Business Administration, Bachelor of Arts- Sociology, and Bachelor of Arts- History/Government, History, and Government degrees. Adams State University has a long history of offering print based correspondence courses to incarcerated individuals throughout the United States. Therefore, we completely understand the restrictions you currently face.

MISCELLANEOUS FAQ’S

Q.
Do I have to be admitted to ASU in order to take correspondence courses?

A. No. You may take courses for any reason such as transfer to other schools, personal enrichment, or to improve your skills in a specific area. All you need to do is select the course you want to take, complete a registration from and provide payment in full for the specified tuition. You will then need to contact the ASU Bookstore to purchase textbooks for your course(s).

Q. What if I am moved or released from my correctional facility while I am enrolled in a course?

A. If you are moved while in our program, simply let us know your new address so that we may change our records. You may continue in our program for as long as you wish, including upon your release. It is highly recommended to notify your instructor of the move as soon as possible. In some cases, an extension can be requested from and approved by your instructor. Extensions are based on the decision of the instructor of the course.

Q. How do correspondence courses appear on the ASU transcript?

A. Credit earned through correspondence is listed on your transcript exactly as an on-campus course would.

Q. Will my diploma from ASU note that I am incarcerated?

A. No, you will receive the exact same diploma that is awarded to an on-campus student.

Q. When I complete all my requirements, when will my degree be awarded?

A. Your degree will be awarded at the end of the semester in which you completed your final courses, if the Application for Graduation was submitted on time. Graduation ceremonies are held at the end of fall and spring semester.

Q. What options can I use to complete an Adams State degree?

A. We offer a wide range of options that include using credits from previous college work, Distance Learning (correspondence) courses, online courses, and testing. Additionally, the Adams State department chair may consider previous military or civilian training.

Q. Are there resources to help in my transition after being released from prison?

A. In conjunction with College in Colorado, Own Your Future is a new online resource to help in your transition after being released from prison. To find out more information and to create a free account, please visit the following secure website: https://secure.collegeincolorado.org/Own_Your_Future/_default.aspx.

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
(either General or Subject Exams)

Students who have performed satisfactorily in college-level courses before college entrance and have demonstrated a requisite achievement (minimum scores of 50th percentile) on tests of the College Board-College Level Examination Program may submit the results to Adams State University for consideration of college credit. The Records Office will record the College credit based on determinations made by the appropriate department chair. The maximum credit on the General Exams is 18 semester hours (in the areas of Humanities, Natural Science and Social Science). The semester hours of credit for each Subject Exam as well as credit by examination in total will be determined by the appropriate department chair.

Adams State also accepts military credits and credits from workplace training certificates.

Contact Us

719-587-7671 or
toll free 1-800-548-6679