This week we were pleased to welcome the most diverse and one of the best academically prepared freshman classes in our history. This exceptional class was culled from another record year of applications, confirming CU Boulder is a university of choice for high-achieving students in Colorado and across the globe.
One of our greatest assets is that we share a campus characterized by diversity in all forms, which gives us the opportunity to learn from our many perspectives, cultures and backgrounds.
I’m proud to share a few other compelling characteristics of our new class:
- The Class of 2021 has an average high school grade point average of 3.65.
- Almost a third of the new class earned career high school GPAs of 4.0. or higher.
- Preliminary numbers tell us we have more than 300 new international freshmen from 45 countries, with the majority joining us from China.
- Our new students come from high schools large and small, from Allen High School in Texas with a graduating class of more than 1,400 to tiny Arickaree High School in Colorado with a graduating class of 10.
This year marks the second year of the CU Boulder Guarantee, which means tuition and mandatory fees for entering freshmen are locked for four years. Continuing resident students also continue to benefit from this program. We have had a similar guarantee in place for non-resident students for several years.
The success of our students is the foundation of everything we do. We have a number of exciting programs in place for first-year freshmen to enhance their success, persistence and ultimately their graduation rate.
For example, this year we are debuting a first-year focused advising center, the University Exploration and Advising Center, which works with students in exploring and transitioning to a variety of academic paths.
Our Residential Academic Programs (RAPs), First-Year Seminars and First-Year Interest Groups are an example of small college experiences in the midst of big university opportunities.
- The popular RAPs are continuing programs that engage half of our first-year students in which students with like academic interests live and learn in the comfort of their residence halls. The RAPS are affiliated with Arts and Sciences; Engineering; the College of Media, Communication and Information; and the Leeds School of Business.
- First-Year Seminars are small classes in which students explore topics that help them discover the academic path that's right for them.
- First-Year Interest Groups (FIGs) focus on a specialized academic topic so students are able to easily connect with other first-year students who have similar interests and aspirations. FIGs comprise 25 students or fewer who live together in the same residence hall.
Our donors, too, are critical to the success of our students, and I am pleased to announce that CU Boulder donors contributed more than $140 million in private support last year to scholarships, programs, high-impact research and transformational facilities. We are thankful for their generous support, and the next time you visit campus you will see the impact our donors have had.
Finally, given events around the country very recently, we are reminding students of our Colorado Creed, established by students 14 years ago. It is at once timeless and exceedingly timely. It reminds students to act with honor, integrity and accountability in interactions with each other; respect the rights of others; accept our differences; and contribute to the greater good of the community.
Our students tend to live up to the legacy of their Buff predecessors, and for that we are grateful and proud.
Philip P. DiStefano,
CU Boulder in the News
Boulder Daily Camera, Aug. 14: A Russian exile, a janitor and Buffs fanatic: Boulder home houses 4 CU generations
Boulder Daily Camera, Aug. 10: 'I'm not just a brute': CU Boulder football player's heart rests in singing
Boulder Daily Camera, Aug. 10: CU Boulder researcher uses turkey DNA to shed light on ancestral Pueblo people
9News, Aug. 8: Students at CU Boulder are studying ancient ice cores
Boulder Daily Camera, Aug. 8: Native American high school students nationwide supported by CU Boulder
The Denver Post, Aug. 4: $90 million climate monitoring tool built at CU Boulder prepares for rocket launch to space station
Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, July 31: Colorado university using drones to measure soil moisture
Denver 7 News, July 26: CU Boulder breaks down engineering barriers, tells all students they look like an engineer