CU-Boulder Census Shows Enrollment Tops 25,000

Published: Sept. 16, 1997

Official census figures at the University of Colorado at Boulder have confirmed predictions of increased enrollment topping 25,000 for the fall semester. The data also show that students are taking heavier course loads than in the previous year.

CU-Boulder’s total headcount stands at 25,109, or 487 more than fall 1996, an increase of about 2 percent. Students enrolled in about 326,500 credit hours, an increase of nearly 2.4 percent.

Campus enrollment reflects a slightly larger percentage of Colorado residents than last year, with 68.7 percent compared with 68.6 percent residents in 1996. Residents number 17,238 this year, compared with 16,890 last year, an increase of more than 2 percent.

“We’re very pleased that CU-Boulder continues to be competitive in attracting new students as well as retaining those already enrolled,” Chancellor Richard L. Byyny said. “These census figures reflect a lot of hard work in student recruitment and retention efforts.”

New freshmen contributed to the total enrollment hike with a 7.5 percent increase over 1996. This fall, 4,248 new freshmen enrolled, compared with 3,952 in the previous year. The freshman class is the largest ever, exceeding the previous record, set in 1995, by 66 students.

Admissions Director Gary Kelsey said, “As the upturn in the college-bound population takes hold, it is very encouraging that CU-Boulder remains extremely attractive to prospective students both in Colorado and elsewhere.”

The increase also can be attributed to improved retention or return rates for undergraduates, a reflection of the university’s continuing emphasis on keeping already-enrolled students in school. Retention rates increased for both resident and non-resident undergraduates.

This year, the freshman class reflects a slightly higher percentage of resident students than last year. New freshmen include 56.5 percent residents compared with 55.5 percent last year.

Undergraduates continue to dominate total enrollment at CU-Boulder. Undergraduates account for 20,437 of total enrollment at CU-Boulder, with graduate students totalling 4,672. Undergraduates increased by nearly 3 percent, while graduate enrollment decreased slightly from last year’s levels. Nationally, graduate enrollments typically lag when the economy is strong.

The number of students transferring from other colleges also increased this year with 1,491 new transfers, representing a 2 percent hike.

Among schools and colleges, the largest percentage increases in total enrollment were seen by graduate business (8 percent) and music (12 percent). Increases also occurred in architecture and planning, arts and sciences, undergraduate business, education, engineering and applied sciences, journalism and mass communication, and law.

Last week, Byyny announced an allocation of $519,000 from new tuition revenues to help schools and colleges handle the enrollment increases. He also is considering additional funding for other top-priority needs resulting from larger numbers of students.