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CSU-Pueblo enrollment gain in freshmen, out of state students

Release Date: September 16, 2014

Cora Zaletel

Executive Director, External Affairs

Colorado State University-Pueblo

(719) 549-2810

Press Release

PUEBLO – The official enrollment numbers for the fall semester at Colorado State University-Pueblo met the University’s budget projections thanks to a substantial increase in the number of incoming freshmen, as well as increases in students from other states and countries.

A double digit percentage increase in freshman enrollment (+ 121 or 15.3 percent) over Fall 2013 helped balance a decline in continuing student enrollment. As projected, the overall headcount dipped slightly for the Fall 2014 semester, to 4528 (down 141 or -3.0 percent), while full- time equivalent enrollment, (upon which funding is determined), declined 128.7, or 3.3 percent. In order to align CSU-Pueblo’s enrollment numbers with those submitted by other Colorado higher education institutions, future headcount reports will include the more than 600 high school students from Pueblo and around the state who are enrolled through concurrent enrollment and the Senior-to-Sophomore programs.

CSU-Pueblo President Lesley Di Mare said the substantial increase in new students bodes well for the future and is the result of numerous initiatives from an enhanced recruitment and admissions process to athletic expansion and campus construction. She credited the work of new Vice President of Student Services and Enrollment Management Paul Orscheln and his team for the extraordinary efforts to improve enrollment numbers.

“The support we have received from the community, the hard work of our faculty and staff, and new facilities, additional recruitment outreach, and six new sports, all have contributed to the growth, energy, and optimism that we are experiencing this fall,” said Di Mare. “I am confident that we will see more of the same in the years ahead.”

According to Orscheln, the growth in new freshman was in part the result of enhanced and more aggressive recruitment strategies, which significantly boosted the numbers of applications (73 percent) and admitted students (37 percent) during the 2013-14 recruitment cycle.

“We are pleased with the increase in the freshman class as this will help build the foundation for future growth at the University,” Orscheln said. “We are excited to see improvements in academic quality and ethnic diversity of our incoming freshmen, especially the Hispanic population. Both increases are a testament to the strong academic programs we offer.”

A new automatic merit-based scholarship program for freshmen also affected the enrollment growth. Historically, CSU-Pueblo had awarded through a scholarship application about 50 institutional merit scholarships worth $2,000 per year. This fall, the University awarded 300 of the new automatic merit awards that were based on a combination of grade point average, class rank, and ACT scores.

The University is attracting more students beyond Colorado borders. Students from outside Colorado increased 13.8 percent (+88) with significant populations from targeted recruitment areas in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. The University also saw 22 percent increase in international students, enrolling 126 (+23) from 38 countries.

The addition of six new intercollegiate sports (women’s swimming and diving, men’s cross country and track and field, and men’s and women’s lacrosse) increased the number of athletes on campus from 417 to 553. New freshmen athletes rose from 95 in Fall 2013 to 235 in Fall 2014. ​

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.

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