We are looking forward to Adams State University Day at the Capitol on February 19. For the first time in our history, we will take Adams State to Denver so legislators have the opportunity to understand more about our institution. On Thursday evening, February 18, we will have a reception for legislators. We appreciate our sponsors who helped make this reception possible: Arnold & Marguerite Salazar, Partnership Investments, and SLV Behavioral Health.
This year’s General Assembly is important to us in many ways. As the budget is being debated, we stand to lose about $300,000 from our allocation or gain as much as $1.1 million. Imagine any other entity trying to plan for the next fiscal year with this much potential fluctuation without knowing the outcome. We have to be ready to educate lawmakers on the importance of Adams State University to the San Luis Valley and to our students.
Our recently completed Economic Impact Study is just one way we are telling our story. The study reveals that every Colorado tax dollar invested in us results in an 11.5 percent return. Adams State had a positive economic impact on the Valley of over $78 million and a state-wide impact of $111 million.
Adams State serves the largest percentage of Pell-eligible students of all Colorado institutions. In fact, 58 percent of our students are low-income, which is not surprising, given that three of the poorest counties in the state in located in the Valley we serve. In addition, our student body is the most diverse in the state; 39.2 percent of our first-time students identify as Hispanic. We have to realize that providing the support systems to help our students succeed costs more per student here than at other institutions. It is important for us to share our story.
I look forward to seeing those of you who can make it to Adams State University Day at the Capitol!