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Sophomore business minor Toto Snidvongs, works in a study room in the Koelbel Library. (Matt Sisneros/CU Independent)
Sophomore business minor Toto Snidvongs, works in a study room in the Koelbel Library. (Matt Sisneros/CU Independent)

Business minor the fastest growing academic program at CU despite expensive program fee

Sophomore business minor Toto Snidvongs, works in a study room in the Koelbel Library. (Matt Sisneros/CU Independent)
Sophomore business minor Toto Snidvongs works in a study room in the Koelbel Library. Many students say the business minor, while expensive, is well worth it. (Matt Sisneros/CU Independent)

The newly renovated business minor popularizes the skills that non-business students may seek to enhance their own majors in the business world.

The program first became available to non-business majors in fall 2013. Each class in the 12-credit-hour program consists of a $500 course fee, bringing the total cost of the business minor to $2000.

“It’s valuable for students to get feedback from professionals in the industry, so some of the fees pay for access to networking events and corporate coaches, but they really cover the cost of the program itself, since it required the creation of a whole new set of courses and staff to manage it,” said Amy Tabor, director of the business minor.

The $2000 fee is a reflection of the tuition differential between non-business students and those students majoring in the business program. The business school is the most expensive undergraduate program at CU, requiring close to an extra $2000 of tuition for every three credit hours.

The recent renovation of the business minor program emphasized expanding the availability of scholarships to the program so as not to inconvenience students with what seems like particularly high student fees.

That has meant accepting the help of corporate sponsors interested in making the business minor a success. The scholarship program is funded in part with the help of for example the Anschutz Foundation, which provided a $1 million grant.

Waitlists are overflowing for fall 2014 registration in the minor program, and the school’s goal is to increase the enrollment from 150 students to 750 students per semester.

Chart displaying the number of students with a business minor divided by major in the past three semesters. (Kai Casey/CU Independent Illustration)

Senior business major Steven Roselli, 22, said the price tag wouldn’t matter to him, and he might have committed to the minor program had it been streamlined at the time he enrolled in the major.

“When taking business classes, you get used to these expenses,” Roselli said. “For one class, we had to buy a Wall Street Journal subscription, for example. A lot of these costs are not necessarily required but recommended, and yet everything that I have paid for outside of the immediate costs of my major have been well worth it.”

 “I expect the minor will be popular with liberal arts students because it will encourage them to major in a subject they are passionate about, while still having the confidence to know they’ll graduate with skills that businesses desire,” said Steven Leigh, the dean of CU’s college of arts and sciences, on the cover of a pamphlet advertising the business minor.

While liberal arts students are getting involved with the program, the business minor has also attracted a considerable number of students from the engineering, science and math schools. But by developing specific courses, like a music entrepreneurship class, the business minor seeks further incorporation into the requirements of other schools.

This program streamlines the way CU teaches business practices to non-business majors. It also improves the business school’s relations with other academic departments because managing and expanding the minor program requires close cooperation with almost every department outside the business school.

Tabor appreciates the importance of introducing students to the multiple facets of entrepreneurship through this program.

“It’s good for students to feel they’re part of a practical program, to have the feeling that they’re working on the question of ‘How can I partner what I’m learning with a business degree?’” Tabor said.

Enrollment in the business minor means a pre-requisite of a C- in statistics or calculus, a minimum 2.0 GPA and a minimum of 26 completed credit hours, 12 of which must have been done at CU. Applications are available online at the business minor website or in Koelbel S210.

The program also includes an on-boarding experience, when newly admitted CU students start their business minor through a five-hour, one-day event before the first day of classes.

Contact CU Independent staff writer Gabriel Larsen-Santos at Gabriel.larsen@colorado.edu.

About Gabriel Larsen-Santos

Gabriel is a senior studying history and doing journalism. He loves reading, writing, meteor showers, and long walks on the beach. Contact him at gabriel.larsen@colorado.edu just to say hi.

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