Colorado Mountain College trustees vote to waive summer books, tuition, fees
College to invest approximately $2 million into its mountain communities
As a way to help buoy the local economy, the Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees on Monday voted in a special virtual meeting to pass along to students and local businesses and workers all $1.6 million the college expects to receive in federal stimulus dollars.
The college will use the funds to waive tuition, books and fees for three categories of students during the summer 2020 academic term, and to put into place other initiatives to help individuals and small businesses that have been impacted by measures related to COVID-19.
College leadership has developed a multi-pronged approach to help the college’s local communities, in a program called “CMC Responds: Today, Tomorrow, Together.” The college will waive tuition, books and fees for students taking credit, English as a Second Language, and GED courses who qualify as in-district; in-state students who took credit courses in spring 2020; and displaced workers who live in the CMC district.
Trustees were required to vote on this measure because it represents a change from the 2020-21 tuition and discounts they approved in January 2020.
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“Over the past three weeks, the nation’s economy has been turned on its head due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser, president and CEO of the college, in a news release. “Nearly every business across our mountain resort communities, including the region’s largest employers, have been shuttered. The impacts of this upheaval will be detrimental to our local businesses and residents, without whom CMC would not exist. So, we consider this a reinvestment into our local communities with the hope it will contribute to a speedier recovery.”
Trustees heard that in addition to tuition waivers for the distance-only summer semester, the CMC Responds initiative includes:
- Extending (starting in fall 2020) the President’s Scholarship to students who have graduated from local high schools since 2017 and extending the deadline for current high school seniors to July 31
- Donating all available personal protective equipment to local hospitals and clinics
- Making CMC facilities available where they might be needed during this health crisis
- Activating the No Barriers Fund in the CMC Foundation to support students facing financial hardship that prevents them from staying in school
- Making tutoring services available to help local parents with home schooling
- Distributing donated laptops to students who need them
- Providing internet service to students and families without broadband access
- Offering complimentary business consulting/training for local businesses affected by the pandemic
“CMC is investing in the communities that have supported us since we started nearly 55 years ago,” said Patty Theobald, president of the CMC Board of Trustees. “Our board and college leadership want to do this by passing along nearly $2 million in federal funds and internal savings, to directly help our economy get back on its feet. As educators and supporters of our local businesses, we know that education is a powerful economic driver that can help us today and tomorrow, working together to bounce back.”
The internal savings include those from hiring freezes, canceled commencement ceremonies, reductions in energy usage, and revenues realized by exercising 7D, the 2018 ballot measure overwhelmingly approved by local voters authorizing CMC to recoup financial losses triggered by the Gallagher Amendment.
Trustees also heard that additional sources of financial aid can cover living expenses for students. This includes assistance from the CMC Foundation, which recently earmarked $100,000 for its No Barriers Fund and is distributing $1.2 million in donor-supported scholarships for the 2020-21 academic year. Fund Sueños remains available for individuals who don’t qualify for federal financial aid. And for those with limited access to computers or internet service, CMC will assist here too. The CMC Foundation is raising funds for student laptops; to help, please go to: cmcfoundation.org/give.
Forms and more information will be available on http://www.coloradomtn.edu/CMCResponds. More details about these and forthcoming initiatives will be shared with the community over the coming weeks.
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After a sudden stop in March and extended isolation, people may be ready to travel or play. But don’t expect a full-throttle return this summer.