CSU System partners with Minds Matter to prepare low-income Colorado students for college success

Contact for reporters:
Tiana Nelson
(970) 420-3316


Denver, Colo. – The CSU System has formalized its partnership with Denver-based nonprofit Minds Matter to improve equitable access to higher education opportunities for Colorado students from low-income backgrounds.

The partnership will serve to enhance the CSU System’s opportunity to engage with highly prepared students from low-income, first-generation, and diverse backgrounds who have demonstrated a strong commitment to pursue higher education and excel academically.

“Working with partners like Minds Matter is one way that we, as a land-grant institution, can deliver on our belief that all people with the talent and motivation to earn a degree from our university, regardless of their background, race, gender, social status, religion, or beliefs, deserve that opportunity,” said Leslie A. Taylor, vice president of CSU’s Division of Enrollment and Access.

Students who successfully complete Minds Matter’s three-year mentorship program, which involves weekly college preparation instruction and summer programs at top-tier institutions, will be eligible to receive conditional enrollment at any of the CSU System’s three institutions: CSU in Fort Collins, CSU-Pueblo, or CSU-Global.

“We know our students deserve nothing but the best; that’s why Minds Matter exists – to help our students achieve the college access they deserve based on their merits and their efforts to succeed,” said Minds Matter executive director Savinay Chandrasekhar.

Minds Matter’s high school curriculum demonstrates participating students’ academic rigor, including an expected unweighted GPA of 3.0 or above, as well as scholarship-level SAT and ACT performance.

“We’re so excited that our partners at the CSU System have stepped up to show how committed they are to have our students enroll across all CSU institutions,” Chandrasekhar said.

“CSU-Pueblo is dedicated to initiatives like Minds Matter that help Colorado students achieve their dreams without having to leave the state,” said Chrissy Holliday, vice president of Enrollment Management, Communication, and Student Affairs at Colorado State University-Pueblo. “We have long been known for our commitment to access and affordability for students from Southern Colorado and beyond, and this partnership represents another way to make more students aware of the support available to them.”

“We are excited to support the work of Minds Matter and look forward to building new pathways for students to earn career-relevant degrees and certificates,” said Andrew Dixon, Assistant Vice President of Marketing for CSU-Global. “Through this collaboration, we are able to further our service to the state and increase access to quality education that leads to workplace success for all Coloradans.”

In its 15-year history in Colorado, Minds Matter has ensured 100 percent of its nearly 140 graduates have completed high school, attended summer programs on college campuses, received academic scholarships, and been accepted to four-year colleges and universities.

Collaborating with the CSU System will enable the development of programs and initiatives that prepare Minds Matter students to enter the CSU System as undergraduate students and pursue and complete their higher education degrees.

“Providing this opportunity to Minds Matter will allow them to change their lives and those of their families, and to also improve and strengthen our community as a whole,” Taylor said.

About the Colorado State University System

The Colorado State University System is comprised of three distinct universities: CSU, a leading public research university and the state’s only land-grant institution, located in Fort Collins; CSU-Pueblo, a regional-serving campus and federally designated Hispanic-Serving Institution; and CSU-Global, the nation’s first fully accredited online university. The CSU System’s institutions serve nearly 60,000 students annually. Learn more about the CSU System and its institutions, projects, and partnerships at csusystem.edu.

About Minds Matter

Minds Matter is on a mission to prove that access, not ability, limits college success for Colorado students. We connect bright students from low-income families with the relationships and resources often reserved for more affluent peers, including: accomplished mentors who provide consistent guidance for three years, weekly college-prep instruction, and prestigious summer programs at top-tier universities.