Guaranteed Tuition highlights Adams State budget


Adams State University's budget for fiscal year 2016-17 was approved by its Board of Trustees at a special meeting, June 22. The budget is based on Adams State's new Guaranteed Tuition Program and no change in state funding. Total Colorado General Fund support remains at $14,076,359, a level set in 2008. The budget assumes enrollment comparable to last year's.

Under the Guaranteed Tuition plan, full-time undergraduate tuition for eligible continuing students will increase 2.5-2.6 percent. That equates to $72 per semester for in-state students and $204 per semester for out-of-state students. One semester's full-time tuition will be $2,796 for Colorado residents and $5,684 for out-of-state students. Guaranteed Tuition locks in those rates through students' fourth consecutive academic year of enrollment. A 5 percent increase was set for new students, bringing one semester's tuition to $2,868 for Colorado residents and $5,879 for out-of-state students. Those rates are also guaranteed for four years. Campus housing rates will not increase in 2016-17, and campus meal plans will increase an average of 1 percent.

"The Joint Budget Committee did restore some of the previous funding cuts, but not all of them," explained Adams State President Beverlee J. McClure. She pointed out TABOR Amendment requirements have reduced funding available for higher education, creating a challenge for all of the state's colleges and universities. McClure noted Adams State will focus on building enrollment and diversifying revenue streams.

The 2016-17 budget includes a 2 percent cost-of-living salary adjustment for faculty and exempt professional staff, who have had only one salary adjustment in the last six years. Classified employee salaries, which are set by the Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration, may include range adjustments, but no cost of living increases.

Guaranteed Tuition ensures affordability

Adams State introduced its Guaranteed Tuition program in November, becoming the first four-year institution in Colorado to offer such a plan to undergraduate students enrolled on campus.

"Our goal for this program is to make college more affordable and allow students and their families to better plan for expenses," McClure explained. "Also, by guaranteeing tuition for four years, we encourage students to stay enrolled full-time and to complete their degrees within four years." Adams State's full-time tuition window, which charges a flat rate for 12 to 20 credits a semester, also gives incentive to complete at least 15 credits a semester, which is necessary to graduate within four years.

By Julie Waechter