BY WATCHING ADAMS STAFF – 5/9/16
In addition to the declining enrollment at Adams State University (ASU) in 2015-2016, the athletics program is struggling to attract new recruits for the 2016-2017 academic year due to a lack of academic scholarships. This is because ASU is attempting to attract athletes already offered academic scholarships at other universities, supplementing the athletic scholarships offered at both schools. According to the February 1st, 2016 Executive Council meeting summary:
“Larry Mortensen, Athletic Director, discussed issues regarding academic scholarships and the difficulty coaches are having recruiting. He gave an example of a potential athletic student being recruited by Adams State and by another in-state institution. Both athletic scholarships were the same amounts, however the other institution was able to offer the recruit a larger academic scholarship. He informed Council they are having a difficult time recruiting academically strong students due to the lack of competitive academic scholarships.”
A recent audit of ASU’s finances found that ASU’s 2015 scholarships and fellowships dropped by over $550,000, or about 70% from the previous year. For more on this, see ASU Audits Reveal Deteriorating Financial Conditions.
Further, the lack of academically strong students being recruited to ASU is among the reasons why ASU has the Lowest Graduation Rate Among Top 10 Affordable CO Schools.
The Executive Council discussed the matter in greater detail:
“Council then reviewed at length the method of awarding merit scholarships and discussed various scenarios including renewing, simplifying, and discounting. Council concluded that making major changes to the merit scholarship amounts was cost prohibitive for Fall 2016, especially with guaranteed tuition. However, they could simplify the scholarships at no additional cost for Fall 2016, and plan to further analyze the scholarships and adjust for Fall 2017.”
As reported previously, many other universities have abandoned guaranteed tuition policies due to the financial constraints they impose on institutional finances.