The CSU System’s flagship campus welcomed its largest first-year class ever this fall. Sixty percent of the incoming class are Colorado residents with nearly 500 students hailing from rural communities. Photo by John Eisele/CSU Photography
All three Colorado State University System campuses hit enrollment milestones this fall, with CSU in Fort Collins welcoming its largest entering class in history and CSU Pueblo seeing the largest class of new first-year students in four years.
CSU Pueblo President Timothy Mottet, CSU Fort Collins Interim President Rick Miranda, and CSU Global President Pamela Toney presented their preliminary enrollment updates for Fall 2022 at the CSU System Board of Governors meeting on Thursday. The final enrollment reports will be delivered to the Board at its December meeting.
Fall 2022 enrollments reflect a continued emphasis on serving Colorado residents, first-generation students, and diverse students from all parts of the state. All three campuses have also invested in new initiatives to support student success and graduation.
“Students returning to campus in record numbers is wonderful news for our students, the state, and its workforce, and it demonstrates how well people understand the long-term value of a college credential,” CSU System Chancellor Tony Frank said. “For our campuses, this enrollment progress will also help to address the deep financial hits of the pandemic, from which we’re continuing to rebuild. But our ultimate goal is to see that all the students we enroll leave CSU with a diploma that will benefit them throughout their lives.”
Frank noted that the diverse educational options offered through the CSU System have allowed students to return in the ways that make most sense for them. “In Pueblo and Fort Collins, we have a small and large residential campus – and CSU Global is a fully online campus that serves people wanting to study remotely. No matter where you are in Colorado, we have educational options to meet your needs.”
CSU Fort Collins
The CSU System’s flagship campus welcomed its largest first-year class ever this fall, with 5,517 students – a 7% increase over last year. Sixty percent of the incoming class are Colorado residents with nearly 500 students hailing from rural communities.
The entering fall class is 28% diverse, and 25% are the first in their families to attend college. The average entering student’s high school GPA is 3.70.
CSU Fort Collins has a total student headcount (residential instruction) this year of 27,956 – 23,794 undergraduate and 3,557 graduate students, essentially flat from the previous year. The total student body is 65% Colorado residents, 25% students of color, and 20% first generation students. Among the academic colleges, total enrollment increases were seen in the College of Agricultural Sciences, College of Business, College of Natural Sciences, and College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
“The strength of this fall’s class is a tribute to our first-rate team in admissions and financial aid, as well as the wonderful advisers across campus – and especially to the quality of the CSU student experience at every level,” Interim President Miranda said. “Clearly, there continues to be significant demand for the in-person, on-campus experience that our state’s research universities provide – and we know our graduates continue to see a great return on the time and money they invest in a CSU degree.”
CSU Pueblo President Timothy Mottet, CSU Fort Collins Interim President Rick Miranda, and CSU Global President Pamela Toney presented their preliminary enrollment updates for Fall 2022 at the CSU System Board of Governors meeting on Oct. 6
CSU Pueblo exceeded its enrollment target for first-time, full-time new freshmen for the first time in four years, with a total of 645 new first-year students – a 12% increase. The campus welcomed 372 new transfer students, a 26% increase, but saw a decline in the number of continuing students.
CSU Pueblo’s new, need-based enrollment initiatives – Colorado Promise (targeting new freshmen) and Pack Promise (for continuing students) – allowed more than 25 students with demonstrated high financial need (family income of less than $50,000) to enroll or stay enrolled.
CSU Pueblo has a total student headcount (resident instruction and extended studies) of 3,529 students, again essentially unchanged from last fall. Of these, 3,104 are undergraduates and 425 graduate students. The majority of CSU Pueblo students identify as underrepresented: 51% racial/ethnic minoritized, 33% Latinx, and 44% first generation.
Following a dip in enrollment during Covid-19, CSU Pueblo held strategic enrollment events to provide one-stop support to new and continuing students, which helped the campus see real growth in new freshmen and transfers for the first time in five years. High-enrolling undergraduate programs include the Bachelor of Science in Health Science, followed by Biology and Pre-Business majors. CSU Pueblo’s graduate program in education has over 183 students this fall, quadrupling enrollments since moving fully online in 2019.
“CSU Pueblo’s award-winning faculty and staff have established new ways to engage new and continuing students – both inside and outside of the classroom,” CSU Pueblo President Timothy Mottet said. “Innovative thinking and a back-to-basics approach in admissions have driven freshmen and transfer enrollment growth this fall, including the largest student-athlete cohort in campus history. Programs like CSU Pueblo’s ‘Discovery Scholars,’ which pairs students and faculty on research-driven or field-based academic assignments, has doubled in enrollment and now includes projects across the humanities and social sciences.
“At the same time, renovated buildings, upgraded spaces, and new on-campus partners ensure programs and events continue to draw record numbers of students, and hundreds of the Pueblo community, to campus. We are excited for all the future holds and are confident that CSU Pueblo is well-positioned to become the people’s university for the state of Colorado and the southwest United States by 2028.”
CSU Global is on a different academic schedule than the other two campuses, so the enrollment numbers provided cover the Fall A (July) and Fall B (August) terms. Terms C and D enroll in September and October.
Enrollment for Fall A and B Terms
Total CSU Global headcount for the first half of fall enrollment is 7,267, including 4,697 undergraduates, 2,406 graduate students, and 164 non-degree-seeking students, representing an early enrollment dip of roughly 10%.
As of Fall 2022, the total student population at CSU Global who are the first in their families to go to college has topped 30%, evidencing its commitment to higher education access and support. While CSU Global welcomes students from around the world, over 34% of its fall 2022 student population is Colorado-based and nearly 10% hail from rural areas of the state of Colorado. CSU Global also recently celebrated its 11th year of a tuition freeze, which coupled with no student fees, makes it an affordable option for Colorado residents and beyond.
“As a fully online university, CSU Global is dedicated to serving nontraditional students who need the flexibility of an asynchronous learning structure to finish or earn their degree,” said CSU Global President Pamela Toney. “All our programs have clear career pathways, ensuring our students receive an industry-aligned education and enabling their future success in the workforce. We are proud to remain an affordable resource for learners in Colorado and across the globe to achieve their personal and professional goals.”
Investments in student success
The CSU System has invested $11.2 million in the Fort Collins and Pueblo campuses over a three-year period (beginning in 2021) to support student success, close equity gaps, and increase retention and graduation rates.
Additional funding targeted at supporting rural student enrollment should result in closer connectivity with rural school districts and students.