Building on four consecutive years of record enrollment, Colorado State University this week again posted record applications from high school seniors. To date, filed applications include an overall increase of 1,600 students, or 10 percent over the same time last year. The applicant pool includes 3,700 racially diverse students, or 33 percent more than a year ago.
Colorado State’s priority application deadline for freshmen was Feb. 1. While scholarship priority is given to students who submitted complete applications by Feb. 1, later applicants are still given full consideration for admission and financial aid.
To date, CSU has received nearly 16,000 freshman applications for fall 2011 enrollment. Despite forecasts for a small decline in Colorado high school graduates, CSU already has received 8,780 in-state applications, a 6 percent increase from this time last year. Colorado State has witnessed a 19 percent increase in non-resident applications, and an 82 percent increase from international applicants from 73 countries.
Executive Director of Admissions Jim Rawlins credits both the university’s strategic outreach and recruitment efforts for the increase and also partner organizations such as the ACT for their vital role.
In April, ACT worked with the Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Department of Higher Education to encourage juniors in the state to send their test-score information to at least one college. The result was a higher percentage of diverse, low-income and first-generation students providing information to institutions of higher education. Consequently, CSU has been able to reach out to these students earlier and with more success concerning requirements and affordability. More Hispanic juniors around the state – a 49 percent increase over last year – sent ACT results to CSU.
Designed to significantly improve the accessibility and affordability of a world-class education, CSU’s Commitment to Colorado program also is playing a significant role in the increase in applicants from lower and middle-income families. As part of CSU’s Commitment to Colorado and beginning in fall 2011, state resident students pursuing their first bachelor’s degree whose families make $57,000 or less – the median family income in Colorado – will pay only half the standard tuition rate. Students from lower-income families who are eligible for Pell grants will not pay any tuition or fees to attend CSU.
The program has had a clear impact on encouraging students who are qualified to attend Colorado State.