The largest and most diverse freshman class in the history of Colorado State University is at the core of historic new overall enrollment figures at CSU. This record number of students comes on the heels of nearly a decade of enrollment growth at Colorado’s land-grant institution.
Record number of freshmen
A record number of freshmen have chosen CSU as their academic home this year, driven by the university’s intentional strategic planning for growth, increasing quality and excellence in education and the vibrant campus climate.
A total of 4,737 new freshmen, an increase of almost 9 percent from last year, have joined the Fort Collins campus community. Twenty percent of this year’s freshmen, 958 students, are racially and ethnically diverse – an increase of almost 7 percent. Freshman international students increased by 22 percent to a total of 99 students representing 25 countries. Non-resident freshman enrollment continued to rise and is at an all-time high at 1,438 students, up 20 percent this year. Non-resident students make up 30 percent of this year’s freshman class.
A growing number of Colorado freshman students are choosing to attend Colorado State, which has routinely been Colorado’s school of choice. Repeatedly over the years more Colorado freshmen have attended CSU than any other university in the state. At 3,299, Colorado students make up 70 percent of this year’s freshman class, an increase of 5 percent. Of those freshmen from Colorado, almost 29 percent are first-generation college students.
For the first time in history, CSU’s overall enrollment has surpassed 32,000 and now stands at 32,236 – a more than 1 percent increase above last year’s record enrollment of 31,725. This number includes 27,566 students who study on-campus (“resident instruction”) as well as others who take classes online, study abroad, or are university employees or guests. Among racially and ethnically diverse on-campus students enrollment is at an all-time high, increasing by almost 5 percent to 4,841 students, or 17.5 percent of the total student population.
“Students and their families from across the state and around the world are choosing Colorado State for all the right reasons – our academic excellence and breadth of programs, a wonderful and safe campus environment placed in the heart of one of the best cities in the country, and a faculty and staff dedicated to their success,” said Rick Miranda, CSU’s provost and executive vice president. “We are delighted to be their choice.”
Along with racially and ethnically diverse enrollment, the university saw increases in:
- International students studying on campus are at 1,981, representing 7.2 percent of on-campus students, an increase of almost 7 percent and now representing just over 26 percent of the non-resident student population as a result of a strong recruiting partnership between the Offices of International Programs and Admissions
- Transfer students are at a record level at 1,657, up by 16 percent
- Among incoming Colorado new and transfer undergraduates, 31 percent are first-generation, representing an increase of 18 percent over last year.
“I am thrilled so many students have chosen Colorado State University this year and helped make CSU history,” said Melissa Trifiletti, director of Admissions at CSU. “Students really resonated with CSU’s dedication to the undergraduate learning experience and realize that this special community in Fort Collins is here to help them achieve their academic and career goals.”
As CSU hits new record enrollment numbers the admit rate and academic profile of the incoming class holds steady due to the university’s commitment to attracting the highest caliber students while embracing the land grant mission of providing access to higher education.
One in four are first generation
More than one in four CSU freshmen will be the first in their family to earn a college degree. CSU’s incoming class includes 812 Pell-eligible, low-income Colorado residents (24.6 percent of incoming resident students). In light of the Commitment to Colorado program, now in place for four years, an additional 107 freshmen above Pell but at or below the state median income will have at least half their tuition costs covered. Overall, 4,041 CSU undergraduates will benefit from the Commitment to Colorado program.
As more students join the CSU community, the university continues to plan for future growth. The latest 10-year update to the state-mandated Campus Master Plan adopted by the CSU Board of Governors earlier this year envisions total enrollment of 35,000 by 2020. CSU is investing with intent to create a physical environment that shapes its future, enhances the student experience and broadens its touch beyond its footprint.
CSU is just a few months into a $700 million, three-year building boom that will transform campus and position the university to remain competitive, relevant and agile for the next 50 years and beyond. This historic transformation will keep CSU at the leading edge of discovery and prepared to meet the new challenges of learning, teaching and innovation in a complex, changing world.
While CSU welcomes a record number of new students, retention and graduation rates also are at record-high levels (86.6% and 67.4% respectively). Helping students to achieve success during their time at CSU and after graduation is a top priority and has yielded strong results:
- 84 percent of graduates secured employment or continuing education within 6 months of graduation;
- Three out of four graduates are employed in a field related to their major;
- And, CSU graduates are employed at a rate 10 points higher than the national average.