Colorado State University Releases Annual Financial Accountability Report, Highlights Efficiency in Tight Budget Times

Colorado State University educates a student today for 4 percent less in inflation-adjusted dollars than it did 20 years ago. For every dollar that state taxpayers invest in the education of an individual Colorado State student, that student will return on average $10 to the state in the higher taxes paid on their income after graduation. State support in fiscal year 2010 accounted for about 8 percent of CSU’s revenue budget.

These are just a few of the many facts released this week in Colorado State University’s annual Financial Accountability Report which presents specific, non-subjective information regarding the university’s finances, including an overview of total university revenue and expenditures.

The full report is available online on the CSU President’s Web page at under the “Presidential Highlights” section.

"This report provides a clear, concise look at how CSU is responsibly and strategically managing its resources to assure maximum benefit for our students, our state and the people of Colorado,” said Tony Frank, president of Colorado State University. “Providing an overview of the university’s financial statements is part of our overall effort to be transparent and accountable to the people we serve.”

The Financial Accountability Report, which is issued every year once the annual financial audit has concluded, provides a factual, objective snapshot of the university’s financial position. Essentially, it tracks each dollar received and expended by CSU in a format that is easy to understand. The report also reviews a five-year history of university revenues and expenditures.

The report includes facts about the university’s overall operating results including tuition and fees, academic funding, athletics funding, and the real costs to students of attending Colorado State. This year’s report additionally highlights CSU’s efficiency efforts in difficult budget times, the university’s increased emphasis on fundraising and other alternative funding sources, and Colorado State’s economic impact on the state.

A few report highlights follow.

• For FY10, students provided $202.4 million (25 percent) of CSU’s revenue through their share of tuition and fees (less scholarship allowance and state-provided College Opportunity Fund stipends). For the same period, the university expended $251.6 million on instruction and academic support (32 percent of total expenditures).

• Twenty years ago, two-thirds of the cost of a CSU education was paid for by the state, with taxpayer support. Today, that ratio has flipped – individual students and their families pay for two-thirds of the cost, with the state paying the remaining one-third.

• Colorado State remains among the most affordable universities for resident undergraduate students among its in- and out-of-state peers.
o CSU ranks fourth-lowest among its 12 peers in undergraduate tuition and fees, ranking above only above North Carolina State University, Oklahoma State University, and Oregon State University.
o CSU’s annual tuition and fees for resident undergraduates ($6,985 in FY11) are approximately 83 percent of its peer group average.

• Along with one of the lowest tuition rates, CSU’s FY11 budget included $4.7 million in new financial aid to help lower-income working families.

• Based on current projections, from July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2012, Colorado State University will have experienced a total reduction in state funding of approximately $30 million, in addition to lost state funding for controlled maintenance on campus.
o To manage these cuts, beginning in FY09, CSU began significantly reducing expenses, instituting a freeze on salaries (no raises) and a commitment to make only those hires that were absolutely critical to the institution.
o To date, CSU has cut about $30 million – about 23 percent – from its expense budgets and reduced its already lean workforce by 5 percent (around 312 positions).

• The percentage of expenditures spent on administrative or institutional support was 4 percent of total expenditures in FY10, putting CSU below national averages.

• Colorado State University and its Colorado-based alumni account for more than $4.1 billion in household income in the state. CSU alumni earnings generate more than $130.8 million in annual income tax revenue and $50.2 million in annual sales tax revenue for Colorado.

• CSU annually generates more than $300 million in research expenditures, which translate to innovation that drives research and technology advances for Colorado business. CSU spin-off companies have generated hundreds of private–sector jobs in the last five years.

• The portion of university expenditures toward instruction and academic support has remained consistent over the past five years at 31 percent to 32 percent of Colorado State’s total expenditures. Likewise, expenditures for research have remained consistent at 23 percent to 15 percent of overall expenditures.