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Budget Task Force recap

Task force members discuss tuition window and its impact on budget, students.

February 26, 2018

Employee helping student at MSU Denver registrar's desk The Budget Task Force, which includes representation from students, faculty, chairs, administrators and classified staff, met Friday, Feb. 16 to go over proposals for the upcoming 2018-19 fiscal year budget for the University.

One of the discussion items included review of the “tuition window.” MSU Denver currently charges students taking 12 to 18 credit hours the same tuition rate. The original intent of this initiative was to increase the graduation rate and help low-income students. An internal audit was conducted during fall 2017 by the University’s graduate students that was focused on the tuition window and whether this discounting has resulted in higher graduation rates.

The audit revealed that no direct relationship existed between the tuition window offering and the University’s graduation rate. Initial studies indicate that students who work and have to support themselves and their families cannot take advantage of this tuition window discounting.

The committee reviewed various modifications of the tuition window to identify if the University could generate additional revenues that could be directed to other student initiatives. These included, closing the tuition window, reducing the number of credit hours in the window, or maintaining the status quo. If the tuition window was closed completely, it could result in estimated $8.5 million in additional revenue for the University. If the window was closed for 13 and 14 credit hours, it could result in estimated $5.1 million in additional revenue. Or the University could opt to maintain the status quo and keep the current tuition window structure.

Task force members discussed what effect this might have on current students within the window – and if something could be done to maintain or grandfather the window for them?

The budget task force will also determine the fiscal year proposed changes should become effective. Any added revenue resulting from above scenarios could be used toward:

  • Offering scholarship more strategically for students who can benefit from this discounting.
  • Expand wrap-around services for students, which would improve the University’s retention rate.

Task force members will communicate and seek feedback from the various scenarios with their constituencies. After further discussions and analysis that shows the impact on our students, the committee will make a recommendation to the president on this issue. The next BTF meeting is scheduled for March 9.

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