Possible Record CU-Boulder Freshman Class Coming For Fall

June 3, 2008

Paid enrollment deposits for fall 2008 new freshmen at the University of Colorado at Boulder indicate that the campus can expect another exceptional freshman class in the fall. Preliminary numbers point to the class being in excess of 5,700 students, most likely around 5,750. The campus enrolled 5,555 new freshmen at census in fall 2007, following a record 5,617 in 2006, making 5,750 a new record enrollment. Final enrollment figures for fall 2008 will not be available until mid-September, approximately one week after the official campus census date of Sept. 12.

"Though these numbers are very early projections, they are very encouraging," said CU-Boulder Chancellor G.P. "Bud" Peterson. "They demonstrate a public confidence in CU that is not only firmly anchored throughout Colorado, but also extends across the nation. As I have said for the last two years, CU-Boulder is without question one of the premier higher education institutions in the country, and I believe these numbers confirm that position."

CU-Boulder received 23,078 applications for freshman admission, a 16 percent increase over last year's total of 19,894 and a 35 percent increase in the past two years. This gain enabled the admissions process to be more selective, with 78 percent of applicants admitted, compared to 80 percent in 2007. Nearly 3,500 of the total applications were from ethnic minorities, an increase of 16 percent over 2007.

"I believe our targeted recruitment of students in Colorado and the nation is clearly bearing fruit," said CU-Boulder Director of Admissions Kevin MacLennan. "We are reaching out in numerous ways directly to the students we want to enroll at CU-Boulder, appealing to their interest in the quality higher education experience we offer. I can tell you that this process is not a hard sell here in Colorado or anywhere in the nation: CU-Boulder's total experience sells itself."

As of May 30, 2008, a total of 6,604 admitted students had paid enrollment deposits, a 9 percent increase from the same time last year, and 6 percent more than the same point in 2006, which netted CU-Boulder its largest freshman class ever. Paid deposits or "confirmations" are not the same as enrollments – a certain percentage of students who pay deposits each year decide not to enroll – but this number can be used to track trends from year to year. At a similar point last year, 6,080 students had confirmed.

CU-Boulder's 2008 confirmed freshmen continue to show improved academic preparation, with both the average ACT composite score and the average SAT total above last year's averages. The average high school grade point average is 3.57, the same as last year.

CU-Boulder also continues to enroll a class with increasing diversity in ethnicity, gender, social and economic background, and geographic origin. For example, nearly 1,000 confirmed freshmen come from families whose parents are not college graduates. Last year, 961 new freshmen were first-generation college students.

Minority students represent 15.7 percent of all confirmations in 2008, a slight increase over 2007. However, the number of minority confirmations is 13 percent higher than in 2008. Also, women comprise 49.6 percent of freshmen confirmed for fall, slightly higher than the 49.3 percent last year.

The incoming class looks to comprise from 53 to 55 percent Colorado residents. The three-year average percentage of Colorado residents (fall 2006, 2007, 2008) will be over 55 percent, as required by state statute. Confirmed nonresident freshmen represent over 1,600 different high schools around the country, while those from Colorado represent more than 325 high schools.

Peterson said it is important to remember that these encouraging numbers are early projections and that the final numbers for the incoming freshman class of 2008 could change before the fall census is complete. But, he said, CU-Boulder is proceeding this summer on the premise that it will likely welcome a record freshman class in August.

"We have a lot to do to be ready for this historic class, but I am confident we will be well-prepared," said Peterson. "We believe we have the academic, housing and logistical resources to serve these new freshmen, and we will spend the summer working hard to ensure that they have a CU experience worthy of their quality and preparation. CU-Boulder faculty, staff, and current students all look forward to welcoming these fine students to Colorado's flagship university."