Published: Sept. 20, 2010

The University of Colorado at Boulder's fall 2010 census figures show an enrollment of 29,952 degree- and licensure-seeking students, a total enrollment within 1 percent of last year, with increases in graduate, international and students of color enrollment.

On most measures of academic preparation, fall 2010 freshmen are equal to or better than last fall's class. The average total SAT score equals last year's 1177, as does the average high school GPA of 3.55. Twenty-six percent of this year's freshmen were in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class, compared with 25 percent last year. The average ACT Composite score for 2010 freshmen was 25.8, compared to 26.3 in 2009.

Graduate-level enrollment reached a new record of 5,146 students, up 7.5 percent from last fall. This is the first time graduate enrollment has topped 5,000 students since 1992, once again exceeding 17 percent of total enrollment.

"Graduate students are the intellectual and creative leaders of tomorrow and their increasing presence at CU means a huge boost to our ability to do the kinds of teaching, research and discovery that make this one of the great public universities in the world," said John Stevenson, interim dean of the Graduate School.

New freshmen number 5,160, a 6.5 percent decline from 2009. The number of new transfers declined to 1,169, a 14 percent drop from 2009.

Implementation of a new student database management system likely contributed to the smaller numbers of new students as the transition caused some delays in informing students of their admission status and difficulties in maintaining regular contact with admitted students before the May confirmation deadline.

Kevin MacLennan, director of undergraduate admissions, said the new student system is now operating smoothly. "Applications for the fall 2011 freshman and transfer classes opened Aug. 1. The interest in the University of Colorado at Boulder remains strong and we are looking forward to working with all our prospective students and parents during the upcoming admissions cycle. Currently, over 7,000 prospective students are already working on their admissions applications for next fall."

Of the new freshmen, 19.2 percent are classified as students of color (Asian-American, American Indian, Black/African-American, and Hispanic/Latino). Last year's class had 16.1 percent students of color, although direct comparisons are difficult because new federal data collection requirements went into effect this year, enabling students to classify themselves in multiple categories. About 9 percent of new freshmen did so, and the percentage opting not to answer dropped from 5 percent to 1 percent. The percentage of each individual minority ethnic group increased, except African-Americans, which held steady.

Among all students, students of color increased by 7 percent, to 4,650, or 15.5 percent of all students. International student enrollment increased 11 percent (20 percent for undergraduates, 8 percent for graduate level), to 1,363.

"Our strategic plan calls for increased international activity as steps toward developing the campus as a global crossroads," said Larry Bell, director of International Education. "Students from around the world help expand classroom discussions, expose domestic students to future potential business and research partners, and contribute in a very positive way to the local Boulder community."

The number of first-generation students also reflects diversity. The percentage of first-generation college students among the freshman class is higher than in 2009, at 16.4 percent compared with 15.8 percent while the number of first-generation freshmen remained about the same, at 848 compared to 854 in 2009.

All figures are for students enrolled at census on Sept. 10 but census counts are considered preliminary through December of this year as business offices and reporting systems adjust to the new student system. Most annual figures with counts by school and college, and by major, have not yet been updated.

Links to related CU-Boulder enrollment data from the Office of Institutional Research are available at:

Overall enrollment: Total degree-seeking vs. not degree-seeking, over time

By new vs. continuing: Degree-seeking only, by grad/undergrad, residency, and new vs. continuing, over time

Details including diversity for fall 2010 vs. fall 2009, residency, college (first college only; numbers will change), all by degree-seeking vs. others

Academic preparation or qualifications of freshman applicants, admits, and matriculants over time