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CSU-Pueblo improves guest student policy

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The guest student policy at Colorado State University-Pueblo has been reworked this year to allow interested individuals in the community to attend college courses at about half the cost of instate tuition.

The new policy, put in place by Director of Admissions Joe Marshall, is a space-available, non-credit earning program. This is in contrast to the previous program, which allowed credit hours to be earned by guests.

In years past, by allowing guest students to earn credit, students viewed the program as a loophole to admissions, as no transcripts are required to sign up for classes, Marshall said. In an effort to integrate degree seeking students into the traditional population, the program went through several changes over the past three years, with this as the result.

The program is for students who want to learn something new for their own personal growth and betterment, Marshall said. He further added that he wanted to open up what the University has to offer to the community, and that this program allows for that connection.

Marshall describes the program as cost efficient and simple. Interested individuals fill out a simplified application form on the first day of class, pay a one time $25 fee and then sign up for up to six credit hours. The cost per credit hour is about $100, if any fees are applicable to the specific course those must be paid as well.

By having the guest students wait to apply until classes have started, the admissions office can assure that degree seeking students are given top priority for registration. The guest students then take tests and perform course work at their own discretion, which should protect faculty members from taking on any additional burden, Marshall said.

Applications are available at various locations in the Pueblo community including the Chamber of Commerce and the public library. The guest program is available to Colorado residents only.

The senior program, for anyone 65 or older, is completely free for participants. Interested applicants simply fill out the same form as the guest program and based on space availability can also enroll for classes. The senior program also accepts individuals 62 years old and retired. As with the guest program, it is for Colorado residents only.

According to Marshall, the University has a knowledgeable faculty and a lot to offer to the community.

“We are a state University, but we can’t lose sight of the community that we serve, Pueblo,” Marshall said.