Students in CU Formation

CU Denver welcomes largest-ever freshman class

Freshman class of 1,716 breaks enrollment record

September 20, 2018

The University of Colorado Denver’s fall 2018 freshman class is the largest-ever in the university’s 45-year history. Freshman student enrollment increased 15.9 percent over last year for a record-setting total of 1,716 new first-year students.

“We are honored that more freshmen than ever will make our vibrant urban campus their home as they pursue their academic career in the heart of downtown,” said Vice Chancellor Raul Cardenas, Jr. “As Colorado’s only public urban research university, students are recognizing that CU Denver offers a diverse and rewarding student experience with academic excellence and supportive programming to help ensure a successful freshman year transition.”

“Students are recognizing that CU Denver offers a diverse and rewarding student experience …”

– Vice Chancellor Raul Cardenas, Jr.

Enrollment highlights for the 2018/2019 academic year:

  • A freshman class of 1,716 students enrolled for fall semester 2018, a 15.9 percent increase over fall semester 2017.
  • This is the sixth consecutive year that CU Denver has welcomed a record-breaking freshman class.
  • Approximately half of freshmen are first-generation students, the first in their family who will receive a bachelor’s degree.
  • With students of color comprising 58 percent of freshmen and 47 percent of undergraduate students, overall, CU Denver is the most diverse research university in Colorado.
  • Hispanic undergraduate student enrollment increased by 11.8 percent over last year with Hispanic students now making up 24 percent of the total undergraduate student population.
  • Total enrollment at CU Denver is 15,232 students.

A record-breaking 900 students are signed up for First Year Experience courses this fall. These voluntary, small group classes support new students with getting connected on campus, making a smooth transition to college life and creating optimal first-semester experiences.

“By reinforcing college life skills, First Year Experience courses help first-year students get a solid start that contributes to their academic success,” said Christy Heaton, director, First Year Experiences, Office of Undergraduate Experiences. “Students who take FYE courses, on average, have higher retention rates and higher GPAs.”

This year’s freshman class is the first cohort to start college with access to the new 85,000-square-foot, state of the art Lola & Rob Salazar Student Wellness Center, which opened over the summer. This landmark building is the new on-campus “home” for the CU Denver community to exercise, socialize, study or relax and features spaces and programs supporting all dimensions of wellness – physical, spiritual, emotional, social, environmental, financial and creative.

Also recently announced, on September 10, the University of Colorado Denver was once again recognized for its academic excellence in U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Colleges rankings. Among public universities, the University of Colorado Denver is 112th on the Best National Universities list. CU Denver’s undergraduate business program ranked 76th among public universities.

Fall 2018 enrollment of 66,728 students is a record high – collectively and individually –for the four University of Colorado campuses, according to an announcement from the CU System.