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Academic Preparation of Freshman Applicants, Admits, and Matriculants Over Time

NOTE: Students enrolling as a result of Hurricane Katrina in September 2005 are excluded from all tables.

Explanatory notes:

The tables in the links below show summary measures of academic preparation or qualifications of CU-Boulder fall freshmen over time. The information is listed separately for three groups: applicants ("apps"), those admitted ("admits"), and those actually enrolling or matriculating ("matrics"). For each of these groups there is one table showing Colorado residents vs. nonresidents, and one by college. The measures listed in each table are:

  • Average high school GPA (0.00-4.00 scale).
  • Average total SAT score (400-1600 scale). 
  • Average composite ACT score (1-36 scale). For both the SAT and ACT, all scores have been converted to current scales (labeled "recentered" for the SAT and "enhanced" for the ACT), regardless of when the test was taken. 
  • "High single administration" is the highest total SAT (or composite ACT) earned in any single test administration. "High components" is the sum (for the SAT) or average (for the ACT) from the highest component scores, even if from different administrations.  Both methods are shown for 2002.  We use highest-component scores in admission decisions and calculating PGPA, but CCHE requires Index scores to be calculated based on highest single administration.
  • Percent who ranked in the top 10% of their high school class
  • Percent who ranked in the top 25% of their high school class. This and the percent in the top 10% were calculated using only cases with nonmissing high school ranks. The percentages of freshmen with no high school rank available is also shown in each table. This proportion increased from 20% to 415% of all applicants between 1990 and 2007. The high proportion of freshmen without high school rank information available limits the utility of the top-10% and top-25% measures, especially for non-residents.
  • Average high school percentile rank.  Based on students with reported rank only.
  • Average predicted CU GPA. The predicted CU GPA is calculated from a formula that combines high school GPA (by far the strongest predictor) and SAT or ACT scores to predict first-year GPA, by college. Calculation is specific to college. (0.00-4.00 scale)
  • Average CCHE index. The admissions standards index is also a function of test scores and high school GPA/rank, with equal weight on each. The scores range from 40 to 154, and CCHE requires that 80-90% of all freshman admits have indices of 103 or better. The CCHE method for calculating the index was changed for 2004. The average indexes calculated by both the old and new methods are displayed for 2004, to show the effect of the change.

In addition, the "by residency" tables also have percent ranking in the top 20% and top 50% of their high school classes.

Applicants by residency by college
Admits by residency by college
Matriculants by residency by college

Updated 9/2013 2012 & 2013 matriculant counts will NOT match other postings due to some students taking only Continuing Education courses (there were two such students in 2012 and 2013)

Updated 1/2013: 2010 - present data now includes students who applied for the summer term.

Updated 4/2012: 'Predicted CU GPA' and 'ACT-high components' scores for 2010 and 2011 were previously incorrect due to formula errors. Corrected averages are now a bit higher than before.

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Last revision 05/02/16

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