COLORADO SPRINGS — Despite student enrollment being the lowest since 2019, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) has more money in the budget this year.
The number of out-of-state students is up. These students pay double what residents do, according to UCCS' online bill estimating tool.
One freshman from Kansas said it's worth it.
"I am really very outgoing person so there's a lot of things out here that you can't do in Kansas, one of the biggest reasons why I came out here," said Zach Crawford.
Nearly 70% of the university's budget comes from student tuition, said spokesperson Chris Valentine.
"We have a balanced budget every year so it's really not about the budget," said Valentine. "We're here to support our students the best we can."
About 1,800 UCCS students are from out of state, said Valentine. That's a 2% increase from previous years.
"Everybody's like come on man, this is Colorado, we're one big happy family, especially with this campus, which I really love," said Crawford.
Valentine said it's been a challenge keeping students through graduation. In fact, one in three students don't return the following year.
"There are so many causes why students may drop out of college for one thing or another, could be a positive reason," said Valentine. "Or could be financial, they can't afford tuition."
The cost to go to UCCS has gone up by about 2% every year.
But Crawford said he plans to graduate and stick around. "I'm loving the state, I'm just loving the people, that's all I need."
UCCS' goal is to have a 73% retention rate by fall of 2026. Right now, it's 67.1%. To do that, officials said they're investing more in student-led success programs.
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