University enrollment over-projection leads to emptying of SGA reserve fund

Mar. 28, 2016

Joe Hollmann
[email protected]

SGA, which funds clubs at UCCS, reallocated $61,275 from its carry forward fund to the general fund to adjust for less-than-projected student enrollment numbers.

UCCS did not meet the university’s projected levels of enrollment for both fall 2015 and spring 2016.

“Because we didn’t hit the projected student enrollment for fall 2015, the SGA budget did not receive the expected revenue,” said Erin Bolinger, junior communication major and director of finance for SGA.

Part of the consequence for over-budgeting for the fall is the carry forward fund, which contains any surpluses from previous years, had to be completely emptied.

“We were able to pull from that to compensate for those losses,” Bolinger said.

In an email, director of Enrollment Management Mathew Cox said student enrollment was projected to increase by 2.8 percent last fall, but instead increased by 1.5 percent.

Spring 2016 enrollment was also lower than expected, with a 2.5-2.9 percent projected increase, while UCCS experienced a 2.1 percent increase.

Cox said the primary reasons for the miscalculation was a decrease of new transfer students from outside the Colorado Springs area and a decrease in graduate students.

The projection’s inaccuracy in the fall led to a policy change in budgeting for SGA.

After Bolinger was informed of the less-than-projected student enrollment in August, she decided to change the way SGA budgets money.

Previously, SGA based their budget off the projections given to them by university administrators. Bolinger said that for next year, they will put forward a budget based off a zero percent increase in student enrollment, so that any actual increase in student enrollment results in a surplus of funds.

“We are not basing it off of the projections,” Bolinger said. “Because I saw the negative effect on it, I changed it.”

Despite emptying the carry forward fund, SGA still has money to help fund clubs.

“We still have funds from the regular budget,” Bolinger said, adding that this year they have actually seen an increase in clubs SGA was able to fund.

In total, Bolinger said 70 clubs have been funded this year, but she encourages clubs and organizations to apply for their
event funds early.

“It’s on a first come, first serve basis, so (clubs) aren’t entitled and guaranteed that money,” Bolinger said.

SGA provides up to $3,000 per club per year for events, while also providing the budget for UCCS Radio, GOCA and the Scribe.

Cox said that while transfer student applications are increasing, graduate applications will increase for summer and decrease for fall 2016.

He added that it is still hard to tell what exactly next year will look like in terms of growth.