Colorado State University today announced a record fall enrollment of more than 22,500 students, an increase fueled by a 20 percent rise in new freshman from Colorado choosing Colorado State, and marked by one of the most diverse and best-qualified freshman classes ever at the university.
In enrollment figures released today, the university reported a new freshman class of 3,056, which includes 2,310 Colorado residents, or an increase of 392 students over in-state freshmen enrolled last fall. This increase helped drive the growth in the total enrollment to 22,523 students. This total includes undergraduate students, graduate students and Professional Veterinary Medicine students.
This freshman class is not only among the largest in school history, it also is the most diverse. The enrollment figures show a nearly 20 percent increase (19.5 percent) in minority students from Colorado in this class compared to last year. Among non-residents in this freshman class, enrollment figures show a 9.9 percent increase in minority students over last year. Taken together, 12.3 percent of this freshman class is made up of minority students. The university as a whole has a minority student population of 10.5 percent.
The freshman class is also among the best qualified classes as measured by the the Colorado Commission on Higher Education index (a measure of a student’s high school class rank and standardized test scores.) Resident students this year scored an average index rating of 109.3, up from the 109 level last year. Non-resident students, meanwhile, posted an index average of 110.2 this year, up from last year’s average of 109.1. The average for the entire class, taken together, is 109.5, or .5 above last year’s average.
In the graduate student ranks, Colorado State continued a stable path, reporting an increase of 43 graduate students this year over last year, or about a one percent increase.
The university also posted growth in its distance education program–as much as 25 percent in its graduate degree program–figures that are not represented in the enrollment totals, but also indicate a surge in interest in the university and its academic programs.
"It’s very gratifying to see this kind of continued enrollment growth and the increasing quality of students at Colorado State, something we believe speaks to the quality of the educational experience we offer as a student-centered research university," President Albert C. Yates said. "It is also gratifying to note that so many of the bright young people of Colorado are choosing to attend Colorado State, to take advantage of the opportunities we offer. Indeed, Colorado State has much to offer students from Colorado and from around the world."
Yates noted the enrollment increase is the latest in a series of positive announcements from the university. Recently, Kiplinger’s rated Colorado State in the top third of the 100 best public colleges and universities, in terms of quality of education and affordability. This follows the designation by the Templeton Foundation of Colorado State as a "character-building" institution. Also, Colorado State is the only public institution in the nation to host three Mandela Scholars as part of an international economics graduate program with the nation of South Africa.
In addition to the increase in enrollment of traditional undergraduate and graduate students, the university today also announced that its Division of Educational Outreach saw an increase in the total number of students participating in distance learning opportunities. The university reports a total enrollment of 2,435 in Division of Educational Outreach programs, representing a nine percent increase over last year. This total includes 734 students enrolled in graduate degree programs, which represents a 25 percent increase in these graduate students.
"These are good times for Colorado State as we continue to build a solid base in the state. In the coming years, we will continue to seek students from Colorado and from around the nation and world through our programs on campus and through our distance learning programs," Yates said.
Another highlight of today’s enrollment announcement is that the number of international students at Colorado State continued to increase, despite global economic concerns, and this year reached an all-time high, with 782 international students now enrolled at the university.