The official enrollment at Colorado State University-Pueblo exceeded 5,000 for the first time in 25 years, with the University again welcoming the largest freshman class in its history and boasting a nearly 22 percent increase in headcount over the last two years.
The overall headcount for the Fall 2009 semester grew 9.6 percent from 4,610 to 5,051, with gross full time equivalent enrollment increasing more than 11.8 percent to 4205.9. The 1,054 new freshmen represent a two percent increase over last year’s record-breaking 1,033 freshmen. The number of new freshman has increased a whopping 68.4 percent since 2007.
The last year student headcount exceeded 5,000 was 1983 when 5,097 students were enrolled at then University of Southern Colorado.
CSU-Pueblo President Joseph Garcia said the two-year enrollment figures are important since the economy has brought many students back into higher education within the last year. CSU-Pueblo’s growth, however, began in advance of that trend and has flourished even more due to continued strong recruitment both within and beyond Colorado’s borders. The number of applications from Colorado students has increased more than 45 percent over the last two years, while applications from students outside of Colorado have risen 83.9 percent.
Garcia said the figure that perhaps best represents the University’s transformation from a commuter school to a more traditional campus is doubling in the number of students living on campus. In the last two years, that number has grown from 532 students in Belmont Residence Hall and Walking Stick Apartments in 2007 to 914 residing in Belmont, Walking Stick, and the newly opened Crestone Hall this fall. In 2010, the University will open an additional 500 on-campus beds with the completion of Greenhorn and Culebra residence halls.
“It has been exciting to see and feel the new sense of activity and energy that has come from the dramatic increase in the number of students living on campus,” Garcia said. “There’s a definite new spirit howling at events, in halls and classrooms, and everyday conversation.”
The number of students from Colorado increased 9.8 percent (+400) with the top growth areas being Denver, Arapahoe, El Paso, Adams, and Otero counties. Students from outside Colorado increased nearly 8 percent, resulting in a 34.9 percent increase in non-resident students over the last two years. The University again saw significant numbers of students from California, Hawaii, and Texas.
According to Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management Joe Marshall, the dramatic two-year growth has resulted from a combination of enhanced marketing, the expansion of athletic programs, and increased retention.
“Clearly, CSU-Pueblo has become a University where students want to study and graduate,” Marshall said. “As a result, CSU-Pueblo remains the fastest growing university in Colorado.”