(Photo Above – the 2011, 4/20 gathering at University of Colorado-Boulder)
A cluster of outlets are reporting on the events of University of Boulder in Colorado. High Times,had reportedly made the claim that out-of-state applications for Colorado universities surged due to the legalization of marijuana. University of Boulder’s officials have responded by denying and attributing the growth due to adapting to receive the common application.
Colorado is the Outlier our Nations’s declining records collegiate applications.
Every other state in the US is seeing a decrease in college applications, except for Colorado. An excellent piece was done by NPR last night, and below is a informative article from The College Fix:
OFFICIALS DENY LEGALIZED POT PLAYED ROLE IN COLO. COLLEGE APPLICATIONS SURGE
In reality, campus officials said, the surge can be traced to a new streamlined college application program, and also they’ve been experiencing a growth in applications for a few years now. What’s more, they point out, the new law is only applicable to those over 21.
The University of Colorado system’s director of admissions Kevin MacLennan told High Times a spike in applications can be traced to the implementation of a standardized statewide application system used by prospective students to apply to several schools at one time. Nearly 500 schools now accept the Common Application.
High Times, a Colorado-based pro-pot publication, has made the claim that out-of-state applications for Colorado universities surged due to the legalization of marijuana.
And make no mistake, Colorado appears to be a popular place to go to college.
The national trend shows college application numbers are down, yet Colorado remains an outlier. For example, the University of Colorado-Boulder, often in the media for its massive annual 4/20 pot celebration, has had a 30 percent increase in applications since the passage of Amendment 64.
For 2013, MacLennan told the Boulder Daily Camera that out-of-state applications were up 33 percent, while in state applications went up roughly 5 percent.
Meanwhile, a Colorado Springs-based liberal arts college, Colorado College, is also experiencing a boom in applications. But Vice President of Enrollment Mark Hatch told The College Fix that this year is actually part of a larger trend for the school. It has had an increasing rate of applications for the past several years.
“This year is no different, and there is no evidence that our increase (is tied) to Amendment 64,” Hatch said.
Leslie Weddell, news director for Colorado College, added that a majority of the student population at the school is under the age of 21, and Colorado law only removes criminal penalties for those using marijuana over the age of 21.
“Regardless, Colorado College’s policy on marijuana remains unchanged despite the passing of Amendment 64: The college does not allow the use of marijuana, whether on campus or off campus,” she said in an email. “Colorado College is dedicated to providing the finest liberal arts education in the country and we believe that marijuana use conflicts with this mission.”
Additionally, recreational shops are not permitted in Colorado Springs. Users would have to commute to Pueblo, some 35 miles south of the city, or Denver, to get their fix. Weddell said the strict regulation of the drug and limited access is another factor in the claim being false.
But High Times writer Russ Belville is still unconvinced.
“I don’t doubt those university officials saying they’ve had increases for a while – sure, because since 2009, you can get medmj (medical marijuana) at a dispensary in Colorado,” he told The College Fixin an email.
In the end, the picture is a muddled one.
CU-Boulder only accepted 5,472 of 18,172 applicants in fall 2012. And for the third consecutive year, the CU Boulder campus will also be closed on 4-20, a day in the past in which students have converged for a campus-wide pot-smoking festival.
But for Colorado State University-Pueblo the enrollment story is different, even though it’s located in a county that permits recreational pot shops. The university has eliminated 22 filled positions and is trying to balance a budget with a deficit of $3.3 million due to low enrollment.
College Fix contributor Kara Mason is a student at Colorado State University – Pueblo.
IMAGE: Scott Beale/Flickr
Universities and colleges in Colorado are experiencing an incredible spike in out-of-state applications, but are quick to deny that has anything to do with legalized marijuana…
…Meanwhile, a report from the National Student Clearinghouse from December 2013 found that overall college enrollment nationwide fell for the second year in a row in 2013. Part of that is a demographic change; there are fewer high school age people graduating and seeking college. The decline was seen mostly in private, for-profit colleges (like Colorado College), which dropped 9.7 percent. Public, four-year institutions saw a modest gain of 0.3 percent in enrollment.
Regionally, it would seem that enrollment somewhat correlates with marijuana tolerance. The Midwest saw the greatest two-year decline in enrollment, dropping almost five percent from 2011 to 2013, and the South dropped 2.5 percent. Meanwhile, enrollment in the Northeast dropped only one percent. So when Colorado University is experiencing a 30 percent increase in just one year following marijuana legalization, academic spokesmen have to work extra hard to avoid the bong-smoking elephant in the room.