Seventh consecutive year of record enrollment, celebrating diversity milestone

Students_on_campusCSU posted a record total enrollment for the seventh consecutive year, bolstered by a surge in graduate, non-resident and international students. Along with record enrollment, the university is celebrating 10 consecutive years of increasing racially and ethnically diverse enrollment, demonstrating the university’s commitment to access and diversity.

CSU’s enrollment now stands at 31,725 – a nearly 1 percent increase above last year’s record enrollment of 31,514. Racially and ethnically diverse enrollment is at an all-time high at 5,700 students, or 18 percent of the total student population.

Colorado school of choice

Colorado State also continues to be Colorado’s school of choice; more Colorado freshmen students attend CSU than any other university in the state. At 3,154, Colorado students make up 72 percent of this year’s freshman class.

“Our continued efforts to meet our enrollment goals while creating the most diverse student population in our history are paying off,” said Rick Miranda, CSU’s provost and executive vice president. “At the same time, we are also pleased that the work of many all across campus in retaining students and keeping them on track for graduation are bearing fruit. This is a testament to the hard work our faculty and student-support staff have invested in student success. As a result, more students are graduating faster, saving them tuition dollars and getting them into the workforce faster. That’s a big part of our land-grant mission.”

Diversity milestone

CSU has created a unique environment to support and retain racially and ethnically diverse students. Some of the university’s distinctive programs include the Alliance School Partnership, TRIO access programs, Key Communities, Student Diversity Programs and Services and First Generation Award program.

international“While we celebrate the milestone of a decade of continued minority enrollment growth, CSU is continuing to enhance its efforts to recruit and retain students who have historically been underrepresented,” said Vice President for Diversity Mary Ontiveros. “CSU’s access programs and institutional efforts, aimed at enhancing student retention, have contributed to our success.  Programs focused on first-generation students and our Key Communities also play a significant role in our ability to attract and retain racially and ethnically diverse students.”

Significant increases

Along with racially and ethnically diverse enrollment, the university saw increases in:

  • Resident-instruction international students at 1,859, up 23 percent and now representing nearly 7 percent of the resident student population
  • Non-resident students at 6,924, up more than 2 percent
  • Resident-instruction graduate students at 4,580, up nearly 2.5 percent

“International student enrollment continues to increase dramatically at CSU,” said Jim Cooney, vice provost for International Affairs. “The number of international students stands at 1,859, an increase of 353 students or 23 percent from last year and nearly 110 percent over five years.  Growth is particularly striking at the undergraduate level where the number of international students has increased by more than two times in five years.”

The freshman class

Freshmen_2A total of 4,353 new freshmen have joined the Fort Collins campus community. While this is a slight decline from last year — less than 100 students — the freshman class is more racially and ethnically diverse and includes a significant increase in international students. At 897 students, nearly 21 percent of this year’s freshman students are racially and ethnically diverse. Freshman international students totaled 81, representing 25 countries, increasing by 31 percent.  Non-resident freshman enrollment continued to rise to 1,199 students, up 4 percent this year. Nonresident students make up 28 percent of this year’s freshman class. The quality of the freshman class is demonstrated by an average ACT score of 24.9 and includes a wide array of accomplished students, including 54 class valedictorians, six Boettcher Award winners and 17 Daniels Fund Scholars.

This year’s incoming freshman class includes Colorado residents from 49 counties, including 1,805 from high schools in the Denver metropolitan area. Nonresident students come from 49 additional states.

Nearly one in four CSU freshmen will be the first in their family to earn a college degree. CSU’s incoming class includes 702 Pell-eligible, low-income Colorado residents (22 percent of incoming resident students). In light of the Commitment to Colorado program, now in place for four years, an additional 112 freshmen above Pell but at or below the state median income will have at least half their tuition costs covered. Overall, 4,017 CSU undergraduates will benefit from the Commitment to Colorado program.