Colorado State University’s Rapid Growth in Nonresident Enrollment Continues

The largest freshman class in history at Colorado State University has contributed to a total enrollment of 26,769 students this fall. This is the fourth consecutive year of record enrollment at CSU.

A total of 4,544 entering freshmen have joined the campus, including 11 percent more nonresidents than last year. This includes 872 racially and ethnically diverse freshmen, and 1,158 domestic and international nonresidents. The total enrollment of 26,769 represents a slight (0.13 percent) increase over last year.

“We’re proud that so many outstanding students from across Colorado continue to choose Colorado State as their university,” said President Tony Frank, noting that this class is not just CSU’s largest, but also among the most diverse and most academically qualified. “They do so because they see an extraordinary value here – a great education provided by a world-class faculty at an affordable price, in a living-learning environment second to none. That’s a great statement for any university to be able to make, and it’s why we continue to see more Colorado high school students choosing CSU over any other campus in the state.”

The freshman class includes 3,386 Colorado residents, the largest number of new Colorado freshmen at any campus in the state. Nonresident freshman enrollment continues to rise, including students from high schools in 48 other states and 25 countries. In just the past two years, applications from freshman nonresidents have increased by 37 percent. The number of those applicants who eventually enroll has jumped by 24 percent over the same period, indicating students are choosing CSU over many other strong higher education options. For the first time ever, nonresidents make up a quarter of the freshman class, and for the coming cycle, the Office of Admissions anticipates that it will receive more applications from nonresidents than from Colorado students.

“We hear from more and more students that they choose Colorado State because the experience is a great fit, both academically and socially,” said Jim Rawlins, executive director of Admissions. “Students are pleasantly surprised, both about getting more personalized opportunities than they expect from a larger institution, and about paying less in tuition than they would at many of our peers.”

The academic profile of the incoming class continues to be strong, with an average 3.57 GPA and 24.8 ACT. A record 872 racially and ethnically diverse freshmen make up 19.2 percent of the class. That includes 111 students who identify themselves as Native American or Alaska Native, 194 as Asian American, 163 as African American, 479 as Latino/Hispanic and 35 as Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. These figures add up to more than 872 because of students who identify themselves as belonging to more than one racial/ethnic group. The number of diverse freshmen has risen 45 percent since 2008.

The freshman class includes a wide array of accomplished students, including 91 class valedictorians, four Boettcher Award winners and 32 Daniels Fund Scholars. The incoming class is the product of the largest freshman applicant pool in Colorado State University history, and the first in which the university offered an Early Action program. The Early Action program rewarded students who applied by Dec. 1 with an earlier response than for students who met the standard Feb. 1 deadline.

This year’s incoming class includes Colorado residents from 58 counties, including 1,922 from high schools in the seven-county Denver metropolitan area. Nonresident students come from 48 additional states and the District of Columbia. Ninety-five of the freshmen are from abroad, representing 25 different countries.

Nearly one in four new CSU freshmen will be the first in their family to earn a college degree. Colorado State’s incoming class includes 817 Pell-eligible, low-income Colorado residents (24.1 percent of incoming residents). In light of the Commitment to Colorado program now in place for two years, an additional 69 freshmen above Pell but at or below the state median income will have at least half their tuition costs covered. Overall, 4,096 CSU undergraduates will benefit from the Commitment to Colorado program.