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CSU-Pueblo fall enrollment sees increase in transfers, retention

Release Date: September 22, 2015

Cora Zaletel

Executive Director, External Affairs

Colorado State University-Pueblo


Press Release

PUEBLO – Based on fall 2015 enrollment figures, Colorado State University-Pueblo is attracting a more diverse and academically prepared group of students as well as more students transferring from other higher education institutions.

Overall enrollment dipped from 4,528 to 4,243, which came as little surprise based on a large graduation class, the continued nation-wide trend of declining enrollment which began in 2010 (National Center for Education Statistics), and the lack of new athletic programs in this recruitment cycle that had helped to attract students from different markets. Last fall, 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) helped boost enrollment with 130 new athletes. 

Even with the drop, there were many positives from the past recruitment season. Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs (VPEMSA) Paul Orscheln said the University experienced a significant rise both in applications and admits, which bodes well for the future given that the recruitment plan now includes a regular and robust communication and relationship building plan with high school sophomores and juniors rather than just seniors. Both freshman applications and admits were up 51 percent (apps 6,859 to 10,388, admits 3,893 to 5,893) and inquiries by sophomores and juniors were up 57 percent (from 7,572 to 11,922).

More students are transferring from other two and four-year higher education institutions from Colorado and other states, with transfer numbers increasing by almost nine percent from 351 to 381. Another positive was an increase in the retention rate of first-time freshmen by a full percent from 63 percent to 64 percent. 

Regularly cited as a Military Friendly Institution by numerous publications, CSU-Pueblo more than doubled the number of first-year students using veterans’ educational benefits from 30 to 80, bringing the total number of veterans on campus to more than 300.  Tracking the number of veterans on campus is difficult as veterans often run out of benefits before completing their degrees. 

“We are thrilled to see continued improvements in academic quality and ethnic diversity of our incoming freshmen, especially the Hispanic population,” Orscheln said. “Both increases are a testament to the strong academic programs we offer and the services we provide to our student population.”

The University saw increases in the average admissions index score (from 100.85 to 101.20), which represents a combination of ACT score and high school grade point average. Almost 40 percent of the freshmen class identified as being Hispanic, with the freshman class at 52 percent ethnic minority overall. The overall student population stands at 45.3 percent minority. 

Despite a decline in overall enrollment this fall, the University continues to serve more than 10,000 students annually, which includes high school concurrent enrollment students and teacher certification candidates (which are not included in the reportable figures). On-campus concurrent enrollment of high school students increased 31 percent from 56 students to 76 this fall. Registration for fall senior to sophomore (STS) courses in the high schools has not yet been completed, but the number of courses offered in the 24 high schools across the state increased 24 percent from 51 to 63. In 2014, 1,504 students registered for 2,900 courses through the STS program earning more than 8,000 credit hours in general education courses.

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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