CSU’s online university will pay rent in scholarships
Colorado State University-Global Campus partnered with Aurora Public Schools to build a headquarters for the fully online university on district land. The university will leverage lease payments to make college possible for more Denver-area students.
Leaders at Colorado State University-Global Campus, in searching for a new headquarters, found a way to leverage their lease payments to make college possible for more Denver-area students.
Aurora Public Schools (40,000 students) is building a home for the fully online university’s administration and staff on a parcel of district land that includes a gifted and talented magnet school, a special needs program and a high school.
The rent will be paid in kind through scholarships for students in the urban district just east of Denver.
Officials call the partnership “one of the first of its kind in the nation.”
“Rather than pay a private landlord for office space, this partnership with Aurora Public Schools will allow CSU-Global to use that normal expense to more impactfully serve students in a diverse community like Aurora,” says Andrew Dixon, the university’s director of marketing and communications.
CSU-Global, which does not receive taxpayer funding, signed a 10-year lease to move from the Denver Tech Center.
The university will offer a 30 percent tuition discount to Aurora school employees and to students who graduated from Aurora schools after 2012. Aurora’s educators will have access to “affordable and flexible” PD provided by CSU-Global.
The partnership required approval by the Colorado General Assembly, and Aurora voters approved the funding in 2016 as part of a $300 million district bond measure.
Aurora is a highly diverse district, with more than 130 languages spoken by its students. Online learning could appeal to students who may be more reluctant to leave their tightknit communities or who have to work to pay for college, says Superintendent Rico Munn.
“This partnership will make college a lot more affordable for a significant number of our students,” Munn says.
“CSU-Global has developed a lot of really unique ways of interacting with students during instruction, and we want to see if there’s something to learn that translates into the K12 space.”