CU-Boulder freshman class sets record for academic qualifications and diversity

By Staff

The University of Colorado Boulder welcomed a freshman class of 5,869 students, a slight increase by 0.4 percent over last year, and in the process achieved the most academically qualified and diverse incoming class in the campus’s history.

Fall 2014 census figures show a total enrollment of 29,772 degree- and licensure-seeking students, 447 students more than last year.

A total of 3,083 Colorado residents enrolled as new freshmen in the fall class, as well as 2,786 from out of state and a record 386 freshman international students, a 41 percent increase from last year.

This year’s incoming class is the strongest ever on all measures of academic qualification. The average ACT Composite score is 26.8, higher than last year’s 26.5, and the average SAT Total score increased from 1171 to 1180. The average high school GPA increased slightly, from 3.56 to 3.58.

“Our efforts in recent years to improve the academic rigor at CU-Boulder are paying off with the most academically qualified class we’ve ever seen,” said CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano. “Our Esteemed Scholar program, and our other scholarship and academic programs, continue to attract Colorado’s best and brightest to CU-Boulder, along with outstanding students from around the nation and the world.”

This year’s freshman class includes a total of 898 Colorado freshmen who were awarded Esteemed Scholarships, based on high school grades and SAT/ACT scores, up from 789 last year.  For out-of-state students, 425 were awarded the Chancellor’s Achievement Scholarships, 77 more than in 2013, and 102 were awarded Presidential Scholarships, up 18 from last year.

The number of students from underrepresented groups reached an all-time record at 6,001, composed of 5,359 undergraduates, 1,445 of whom are freshmen, and 642 graduate students – also records in each respective category.

Undergraduate degree-seeking students from underrepresented groups increased by 8 percent, with 394 more students enrolled than last year. The number of Asian-American students increased by 11 percent, African-Americans by 8 percent and Hispanics by 7 percent.

Freshmen students from underrepresented groups increased overall by 104 students, or 8 percent, over fall 2013 with increases of 21 percent (90 students) among Asian-Americans, 7 percent (five students) among American Indian/Native Americans and 5 percent (32 students) among Hispanics. The number of African-American freshmen declined by 7 percent (12 students). Of new freshmen, 25 percent are ethnic minorities, compared with 23 percent in the 2013 class.

New transfer students also showed an increase over 2013, with 1,316 enrolling compared with 1,296 last fall, a 1.5 percent increase. Of these, 828 are Colorado residents and 488 are from out of state.

Graduate-level degree-seeking main campus enrollment totals 4,954, an increase of 47 students compared with 2013. Continuing graduate students showed a slight decrease of 66 students from last year and new graduate-level enrollments increased to 1,412 students this fall compared with 1,299 in 2013.

“The enrollment profile of this year’s student body is both impressive and a testimony to CU-Boulder’s position as a world-class research institution,” DiStefano said. “I congratulate our outstanding faculty, our marvelous admissions staff, and indeed our entire campus community, for creating one of the most exciting teaching and learning environments in the world.”


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