By Cliff Foster
MSU Denver expects to receive roughly $2.6 million more in need-based grant money from the state for the 2013-14 academic year, triggering a policy discussion in Enrollment Management on the best way to dispense aid to financially eligible undergraduates.
The Colorado Department of Higher Education will have an additional $5 million for such grants next year thanks to an improving state economy.As a result, the University’s allocation would increase to $11.5 million from $8.9 million based on the number of needy full- and part-time students, says Cindy Hejl, director of financial aid.
The 2013-14 appropriations for all institutions of higher education must still be approved by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education this spring, she says.
Lower-income students who qualify for need-based Colorado College Responsibilities Grants (CCRG) and are enrolled full-time receive $500—a small group receives $700—each semester, a welcome supplement to more substantial forms of financial aid such as Pell Grants.The CCRG amount is reduced for part-time students.Approximately 9,700 undergraduates received the grants this academic year.
Campus financial aid administrators are discussing a couple of different packaging policies for CCRG money as well as the $2 million MSU DenverNeed-Based Grant (MNEED) program.
The $8.9 million from the state for this year ran out in October, meaning there was no more CCRG money after that. So, one idea is to use the $2.6 million increase “to award more students further into the academic year,” Hejl says.
The other possibility, she says, is to use the increase to provide the neediest students a larger amount of CCRG money than the standard $500 per semester for most full-timers and target MNEED funds to students with less need.
Administrators hope to have a policy in place by the end of March.
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