CU Denver sees largest, most diverse undergraduate enrollment ever

By Staff

The University of Colorado Denver is seeing the largest, most diverse undergraduate enrollment in its history, including the biggest freshman class.

This year’s incoming freshmen number 1,354, a 17 percent increase from last year and a 25 percent jump from 2010. The undergraduate class is 9,987, up 3 percent from 2013.

At the same time, students of color make up 32 percent of undergraduates, a 10 percent increase over last year. And 55 percent of this year’s freshmen are students of color, 8 percent higher than last year.

Meanwhile, the university has seen a 51 percent increase in overall international enrollment since 2010 with a record 1,247 students reported in 2014.

“Denver is a great, vibrant place to be a student and build your career. More people are realizing this and enrolling in CU Denver, the research university right in the heart of the city,” said CU Denver Chancellor Don Elliman. “We’re excited to serve more undergraduates this year than ever before, including our largest and most diverse freshman class ever.”

Elliman said it was an exciting time to be at CU Denver.

“With the opening of our new building at Speer and Larimer and an increased university-wide emphasis on meeting our students’ needs, CU Denver is well poised to accommodate our growing student body,” he said.

The increase in enrollment can be traced to a variety of reasons.

“These record enrollment numbers not only speak to our academic reputation but also show that our university is seen as a welcoming place for students of every ethnic, religious and economic background,” said Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Raul Cardenas. “It is concrete proof that the strength of CU Denver lies in our unique combination of academic rigor, diversity and location at the center of one of America’s most vibrant cities.”

Diversity increased among graduate students with an 8 percent increase in students of color since 2013.

The growth in international students is also significant. A study from the Brookings Institution showed foreign students in the Denver area spent $147,755,281 in tuition and $69,017,741 in living costs between 2008 and 2012. Many of those attended CU Denver.

This year’s international numbers were boosted by a new cohort of 60 students from Brazil along with enhanced recruiting efforts in China and Southeast Asia. The result is that CU Denver has the most diverse international student body in its history.

“We are honored to host a record number of international students to CU Denver. Their decision to study and do research here says a lot about our academic programs and the global dynamism the university adds to Denver’s economy,” said Executive Director of the Office of International Affairs John Sunnygard. “Hailing from 60 countries, our international students bring new perspectives and experiences to our classrooms and laboratories creating learning communities that will help us all thrive in a global economy.”

Sunnygard hopes to increase the number of CU Denver students who study abroad as well.

“I hope our American students will welcome and learn from their international peers and be inspired to explore other countries and cultures through our many study abroad programs,” he said.

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