Admission standards, tuition increases on trustee docket
The standards for getting into Colorado Mesa University and the cost of enrollment are both expected to increase soon.
Gov. John Hickenlooper will sign House Bill 1324 on Monday morning at the Mesa County Courthouse, officially moving Colorado Mesa’s admissions standards from “moderately selective” to “selective.” Hours later at the university, CMU’s Board of Trustees will meet at the university and likely approve specific admission standards for the school. The new standards will go into effect next summer.
CMU applicants are admitted to the university based on an admissions index score that combines a student’s high school grade point average, class rank and ACT or SAT score. Currently, an index score of 85 or above is enough to get a student into Colorado Mesa.
A student with an index score of 74 to 84 will earn an applicant provisional enrollment at the university, meaning the student has to speak to an adviser before registering and maintain a 2.0 grade point average for two semesters and take an introduction to higher education course. Applicants with an index score below 74 can attend Western Colorado Community College.
Trustees will likely adopt a new index score minimum of 92 for Colorado Mesa students and ask provisional students to have an index score of at least 80. Mike Mansheim, director of marketing and publications, said the change to a higher standard better reflects the quality of current students more than hopes for future students.
“For years we’ve been seeking higher-achieving students and rewarding them with merit scholarships. It doesn’t change our marketing, it just better fits with the current population,” Mansheim said.
Rick Taggart, Colorado Mesa executive director of marketing and student recruitment, said the last three classes of entering freshmen have maintained an index average of more than 100. Higher scores are an indicator students will handle the transition to college well, he said.
“(The index change) is very much a recognition on our part the better students are, the better students retain all the way through to graduation,” Taggart said.
At the same meeting, the board will consider a tuition and fee increase of 4.93 percent for the 2012-13 school year. In-state Colorado Mesa freshmen and sophomores paid $6,548 for tuition and fees for 30 credit hours in 2011-12 while juniors and seniors paid $6,162, a 4.78 percent increase from 2010-11.
Colorado Mesa Vice President of Finance Pat Doyle said he isn’t sure where the school’s tuition cost or increase will rank compared to other state public institutions because not all college or university boards have adopted tuition and fee prices yet. From what he’s heard so far, though, he’s guessing Colorado Mesa will be one of the lower-cost institutions.
The state will spend $18.63 million on Colorado Mesa in 2012-13, an increase of about $130,000 from 2011-12. The increase accounts for a bump in enrollment but gives the school less money per student year-over-year, Doyle said.