CMC gives Team USA a boost

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Two Colorado Mountain College students take a break during the recent X Games Aspen. Audrey Dominguez, left, a CMC Isaacson School student who interned in the control booth, and CMC student and Olympic medalist Alex Ferreira, right, who won gold at X Games Aspen fly the college’s “Top Adventure College” flag. The college’s trustees voted recently to offer in-state, and potentially in-district, tuition to Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Photo Stephanie Stocking

 

 

Colorado Mountain College is smack-dab in the midst of some of the world’s best ski resorts and winter sports training sites. To honor the more than 60 Olympic athletes who have attended CMC over the years, the college’s elected board of trustees recently agreed to offer in-state tuition to attend college for those in training for Team USA.

Ferreira said that he’s glad to hear about the in-state tuition discount for Olympians and Paralympians in training, which will be offered at CMC in the 2019-20 school year. “It’s really difficult to balance school and skiing, and the bills start to add up,” he said. “Traveling to contests, paying your entrance fees, getting food while you’re there, paying for physical therapy. So to have this discounted rate for Team USA athletes I think will be a huge incentive for athletes to actually enroll in college and get back into it while on the road and while traveling.”

CMC joins several other state-supported colleges and universities in Colorado in offering reduced tuition for athletes in training for Olympic and Paralympic competition. A bill passed by the Colorado General Assembly in 2017 allows colleges to offer in-state tuition to athletes training in an elite program approved by the U.S. Olympic Committee and living anywhere in the state, regardless of where they might otherwise have residency.

At the CMC Board of Trustees’ recent meeting at Morgridge Commons in Glenwood Springs, the board agreed to join the state’s program by offering in-state tuition to Olympians and Paralympians in training in Colorado. And here’s what makes their agreement that much sweeter: Once a student qualifies for in-state tuition at the college, they can then qualify for in-district tuition by residing within CMC’s six-county district for a minimum of 32 days.

Currently, CMC’s in-district tuition runs from $80 to $120 per credit hour – among the most affordable tuition rates in the state. The college’s in-district bachelor’s tuition is among the most affordable in the country, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Out-of-state tuition at CMC runs from $453 to $493 per credit hour, so the savings can be significant.

Even though Ferreira receives in-district tuition, he approves of CMC’s tuition program to support educational opportunities for other Olympic-caliber athletes. “I think this [tuition plan] is really phenomenal,” he said. “I’m glad to be at CMC. I’m just grateful.”