Balancing a budget – whether at home or at a large university – is a matter of making choices about where to move funds for the greatest impact. CSU’s interactive budget planning tool lets users try their hand at adjusting a variety of factors, like tuition and salary increases, to see how those changes affect the overall budget picture at the university.
The online budget planning tool includes two models, one for CSU-Fort Collins and one for CSU-Pueblo. When the user slides the interactive bars to change dollar amounts, on-screen graphics adapt at the same time to show all the changes that are happening as a result.
“This model is more simple that the full budget, but lets you get a good look at how complex these budget decisions can be,” said Rich Schweigert, chief financial officer for the Colorado State University system. “When you take a crack at tackling the budget with this model, you come away with a better idea of the things CSU’s leaders and state lawmakers have to consider in these budget decisions.”
As in real life, some parts of the budget are set and can’t be changed, while other items such as tuition, state funding and salary increases have varying degrees of flexibility, which the model takes into account. Users can try changing those parts of the budget where there is flexibility, within the limits experienced by the administration, while budget elements that are fixed are included at currently anticipated levels.
The models for the two campuses look at the change in the fiscal year 2017 budget over current fiscal year 2016 levels. Users can then compare their results to the most recently proposed version of the FY 2017 budget. Give the budget planning tool a try: