10 September 2019
UCCS has seen a decrease in enrollment this semester from last fall despite overall admissions spike. According to Chris Beiswanger, UCCS director of Admissions, as of press time there were 300 more admitted students compared to last year. He said that as far as enrollment, there were 2,028 freshman students enrolled at UCCS for the fall 2018 semester compared to 1,948 freshmen enrolled this semester.
This drop of around 80 students is one that Beiswanger says is relatively minor and was expected by the admissions department: “We kinda knew that this year, based on the lay of the land, and with Colorado being extremely popular, that we’re not going to have as big of a class as we had in the previous year,” Beiswanger said.
UCCS did not have many new majors, programs, sports or scholarships that would naturally draw more students in, according to Beiswanger.
Beiswanger said that the incoming freshman class faced stronger admission criteria. Accepted incoming freshman had to have a 3.0 GPA or higher and higher test scores that previous years.
The admissions department focused heavily on not only prospective student GPA, but also on the circumstances surrounding the student’s GPA. Circumstances include the kinds of classes they took and whether there was an overall improvement or deterioration in students’ GPA throughout high school.
Beiswanger said that one thing that contributed to a higher number of admitted students was a free application day that enabled students to apply to colleges for free, resulting in more applications to UCCS.
The dip in enrollment can be attributed mainly to the level of competition other Colorado universities offer. Beiswanger said that it is too early to know other university admissions and enrollment numbers compare to previous years and how UCCS can improve enrollment.
While Beiswanger says that this heavy competition with other schools for students is the main contributor to low enrollment, he also adds that it is also partly due to the lack of new offerings the school has to offer this year.
Beiswanger said that the new social work major that is being implemented next year will likely drive up enrollment. The faculty running the program has a strong vision and the right staff for the major.
On top of a new major being added, Beiswanger said that the Bachelor of Innovation is still relatively new and new ones are being added frequently.
The presence of a larger pool of more qualified students that have been subject to more rigorous admissions standards is also considered by Beiswanger to be an overall win for the admissions department as well as the university.