Colorado State University Sees Continuing Climb in In-State Applications

For the second consecutive year, Colorado State University has received more than 8,000 applications from Colorado residents who plan to start college this fall.

CSU is running 5 percent ahead of last year’s record pace and anticipates receiving several hundred more applications as late-applying seniors submit their materials. Last year’s final total of 8,467 represented the greatest number of in-state applications received by any individual institution in Colorado.

For applicants who live outside Colorado, CSU is running a bit behind last year’s pace. Out-of-state applications have declined 6 percent compared to the same time a year ago, with roughly 6,000 applications received thus far.

Mindful of the economy, CSU has placed special emphasis on making sure the $50 application fee does not stop students with family financial hardships from applying this year. While CSU has always waived the fee for students with demonstrated hardships, the online application was changed to make the availability of these waivers much more transparent and student-friendly.

“As the state’s land-grant institution and one committed to providing access to all students with the desire and qualifications to attend CSU, we have been very pleased to grant fee waivers to nearly 1,000 applicants this year,” said Executive Director of Admissions Jim Rawlins.

The current freshman class, which began in fall 2009, includes 3,350 Colorado residents and is the most diverse in the institution’s history, with the highest number ever of African American, Hispanic/Latino and Native American students. The class also has the highest average GPA (3.57), ACT average (24.6) and CCHE Index (114.4) of any CSU freshman class.

Nearly a quarter of the students are first-generation college graduates, and the class includes 656 Pell-eligible Colorado residents, both the highest number and highest percentage ever for an incoming class. CSU provided these students with its Land Grant Award, which assures that tuition and fees beyond the Pell Grant will still be met with grant aid. For the two years’ worth of entering classes already at CSU, the Land Grant Award is helping 1,791 Colorado residents cover the cost of college.

“CSU is absolutely committed to providing any qualified resident, regardless of family circumstances, the opportunity to attend Colorado’s world-class land-grant university,” said Vice President for Enrollment and Access Robin Brown.

CSU has offered admission to roughly 7,800 of its 14,000 freshman applicants for fall 2010, and the university plans to ultimately offer admission to at least 2,500 more in the next few weeks. CSU uses a holistic admissions process that considers many factors, so no specific GPA, test score or class rank determines admission. The review process, which takes longer than in past years, considers additional factors such as the rigor of a student’s curriculum, an essay and activities list, and teacher/counselor recommendation letters, all of which are required elements of the application. Because of its approach, which is unusually complex for a public institution, CSU is now in its third year as one of only a handful of public colleges nationwide — and the only one west of the Mississippi – with membership in the Common Application.

Last year, Colorado State used a holistic review process to offer admission to 77 percent of its Colorado resident applicants and 71 percent of its overall applicant pool.

“As students and counselors become more aware of what makes for a strong application to CSU, we hope to offer admission to more students from around the state this year,” Rawlins said. “The institution’s goal is to enroll roughly 100 more students than last year’s freshman class. We would like to see these additional openings filled by Colorado residents.”