Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Campaign for Colorado State University?
The Campaign for Colorado State University is a seven-year fundraising effort, launched July 1, 2005, to raise $500 million for scholarships, programs, faculty, and facilities. It is the first comprehensive campaign in the University's 142-year history and, thanks to the generosity of nearly 90,000 donors, we reached our $500 million goal six months early.
So, is the campaign over?
The campaign will last through June 30, 2012, and we hope to greatly exceed the $500 million goal in order to continue providing expanded support for students and faculty, transforming campus learning to meet the needs of a more competitive age, strengthening academic achievements, and providing a solid foundation for the future of the University. No great university can continue to be great without looking ahead. Colorado State has a bold agenda – to set the standard for a 21st-century land-grant university. This campaign is reaching a new tier of excellence and achievements that will solidify Colorado State's reputation for generations to come.
Why did Colorado State University launch a campaign during a terrible economic time?
We know that people are watching every penny they spend in this economy, which means that our students are struggling, as well – 74.3 percent of our students receive some type of financial aid, and we expect that figure to continue to rise. The economy certainly has not helped in our fundraising efforts, but Colorado State University has bucked the national trend and, in Fiscal Year 2011, increased private giving by nearly 47 percent to $85 million – the second-highest fundraising year in CSU history. In Fiscal Year, 2010, the latest year for which numbers are available, donations to higher education rose 0.5 percent, according to the annual Voluntary Support of Education Survey by the Council for Aid to Education. National numbers for Fiscal Year 2011 are due to be released soon, and Colorado State anticipates remaining well above the national average in private giving to higher education. The reason for this difference is clear: Our donors understand the importance of higher education in Colorado. They are showing the confidence they have in the role the University plays by writing checks to support the right of Colorado residents to higher education.
Was the campaign launched to backfill the state budget shortfall?
No, the campaign was launched to increase support for students and faculty, increase the number of programs and learning opportunities for students, and create new and renovated facilities. Funding from the state of Colorado to Colorado State University has steadily decreased in recent years, which makes private giving even more critical to meet the goals of increasing support for students, faculty, and facilities.
What is the money being used for?
So far, the Campaign for Colorado State University has raised funds for:
- Scholarships: 485 new scholarship funds have been created so far during the campaign, and 15,372 scholarships have been awarded.
- Programs: More than $200 million has been raised to fund critical programs.
- Faculty support: 16 endowed positions – chairs and professorships – have been created.
- Facilities: 39 facilities have been built or renovated since the beginning of the campaign.
These areas comprehensively cover each part of the core that is the foundation of any great university – great people, great programs, and a place to do great work.
Why is there such an emphasis on scholarships in this campaign?
The troubling economy has created serious hardship for many Colorado residents qualified to attend Colorado State University. About 45 percent of undergraduates receive scholarships. Scholarships enable the University to recruit and retain top undergraduate and graduate students from Colorado and throughout the country, and enable Colorado State to further its commitment to enhancing campus diversity. Scholarship support for promising students is more critical than ever – particularly in these tough economic times – to give the next generation of leaders affordable access to higher education.
Does the Commitment to Colorado program have anything to do with the campaign?
Yes, raising funds for the Commitment to Colorado is a key component of the campaign's effort to increase funding to attract talented students. In Fall 2011, the Commitment to Colorado began giving a tuition break to Colorado undergraduate students whose families earn less than $57,000 a year (the state's median family income). Those students pay half-price tuition at Colorado State University, representing a savings of more than $2,600 a year. Pell Grant-eligible undergraduate students will not be required to pay any tuition or fees, saving them roughly $6,500 annually. Careful management of University expenses and reallocation of resources into the financial aid program over the past several years is helping to get Commitment to Colorado started. Our goal, however, is to partner with individuals, families, corporations, and foundations who share our dedication to the promise of higher education and the importance of access, and support the program through funds raised through the Campaign for Colorado State.
If you are raising money for students, why does tuition keep going up?
Tuition at Colorado State University is much lower than at the University of Colorado, and Colorado State remains one of the most affordable universities in the nation. We keep tuition as low as possible, but state funding for public higher education has decreased steadily in Colorado. Twenty years ago, the state paid two-thirds of an undergraduate student's tuition; today, families are responsible for paying two-thirds of their students' tuition and the state pays for only one-third. Additionally, the average Colorado State University student graduates with much lower than average debt.
Does a gift have to be large for it to make a difference in the campaign?
Every gift – no matter how large or small – is important. The campaign has been successful because nearly 90,000 donors have given gifts to the University – more than half for the first time. But this effort is not only about raising dollars for Colorado State University; it is also to reaffirm and celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of Colorado State alumni and friends across the country. You are a vital part of that network. The entire point of a comprehensive campaign is that every gift will count toward the final goal. One component of the comprehensive campaign is to raise the level of annual support, through increased participation. So, yes, your gift along with those of all alumni and other friends makes a huge impact.
I graduated from Colorado State University. Is my college participating in the overall campaign?
Yes, every College and Unit at Colorado State University has goals within each of the core areas: academic excellence, research and programs, and building new and renovated facilities for their students and faculty.
What if I want to give to something else at Colorado State?
Every donor can give to the area that most interests him or her. Because this is such a comprehensive campaign, any and all gifts to Colorado State during the campaign are counted as a part of building excellence and supporting this historic effort.
Your current facilities were good enough for me; why do you need new ones?
In order for Colorado State University to continue to attract quality students and faculty, there has to be investment made in University facilities. Planning and decisions to build or renovate facilities are not made lightly. They are made with the considerations of current and future Colorado State University students firmly in mind. As an alumnus/alumna, you'll understand that Colorado State never likes finding itself in a position where it has to play "catch-up" with competing institutions. Consequently, it's essential that the educational environment at Colorado State is continually assessed and improved so that Colorado State University remains a leader among Research 1 schools.
What if I don't have the money right now?
While we always appreciate an outright gift, we realize that our supporters have other obligations as well. The Campaign for Colorado State University will last until June 30, 2012. Our main purpose is to encourage the continuing growth of your relationship with the University, so we would be glad to work with you on how you can make your gift over a period of years. We do hope, however, that we can count on your annual support of Colorado State University.