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CSU sees 3rd largest entering class ever

Collegian | John Eisele/Colorado State Unive
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Each fall, thousands of students arrive on Colorado State University’s campus as first-year students, many ready to live on their own for the first time and receive a college education. This year was no different, as thousands more have arrived. 

Many students are still settling in and becoming comfortable with their new home and classes; however, the number of students stands out as abnormal compared to past years at Colorado State University. 


This year’s first-year class has an impressive number of students in it — in fact, it’s record breaking. Last year, the class of 2026 arrived on campus and brought the largest first-year class CSU has ever seen. The class of 2027 followed close behind, coming in as the third largest class ever.

According to CSU SOURCE, the 2023-24 first-year class is made up of 5,299 students and was just 269 students short of last year’s class of 2022-23 first-year class. The majority of these students live on campus, and 25% are first generation college students.

However, such a large class does offer some challenges to the school and the city of Fort Collins. Associate Dean of Students at Colorado State University Craig Chesson spoke about the issues that accompany such a large class.

The challenge of a large incoming class is the potential impact of campus infrastructure,” Chesson said. “The campus and the city of Fort Collins are busier, (there are) possible longer lines for campus amenities such as the food court and the Rec Center (and) students might see slower response time in some of the service areas.”

While there are issues that come with the large size of the class of 2027, there are also plenty of benefits this unique group of students brings.

“Having such a large class adds to the overall vibrancy of campus, which is demonstrated by attendance at campus events such as athletic events, campus speakers and workshops,” Chesson said.

First-year students come from all backgrounds, upbringings and social identities; 30% of students in this year’s first-year class are racially or ethnically diverse. Furthermore, 9% of Colorado students come from rural areas. This wide variety of students will contribute to the diversity seen on campus. 

According to CSU SOURCE, the total student population of this year is 33,648 students — up .05% from last year’s number. The undergraduate student population is CSU’s second largest to date with 26,168 students. There are 6,775 graduate students enrolled and about 4,563 students attending virtually.

One of the school’s most well-known areas of study — veterinary medicine — has 609 students, a historically large number. The incoming classes’ grade point average remains high with an average high school GPA of 3.72.


Even with such a large incoming class, students can always find a way to get involved on campus. While it might seem overwhelming to meet so many new peers, CSU has opportunities for students to find their people.

CSU provides over 500 student organizations, dozens of fraternity and sorority chapters, learning communities in campus housing and many resources to support student engagement, health and well-being,” Chesson said. “Being part of a community helps students feel a sense of belonging, and they can help a large university feel smaller. The Dean of the Students office is willing and able to respond to students regarding their experience. I encourage students to go to our website, which highlights our support services.”

Chesson delivered advice to the class of 2027 to help them along their college journey.

“I would like to welcome the class of 2027 to our campus and encourage them to take advantage of this fabulous university,” Chesson said. “In conjunction with your academics, there are several opportunities to get involved on campus. There are programs, clubs and events to meet your interest. The college experience is not only an academic growth but (a) personal and social one, too.”

Reach Tyler Weatherwax at or on Twitter @twwax7272.

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About the Contributor
Tyler Weatherwax
Tyler Weatherwax, News Editor
Tyler Weatherwax is a second-year attending Colorado State University. He has lived in the state of Colorado for his entire life and grew up just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park. He is currently majoring in journalism and media communication and is a news editor for The Collegian and assistant news director for KCSU. Weatherwax hopes to share some of the world with people through his reporting and experiences. His goal as a journalist is to bring information to others in the hopes that it inspires and educates them in their lives. He also tries to push himself into the unknown to cause some discomfort in his life and reporting. Weatherwax has been a DJ for 90.5 FM KCSU as well as 88.3 FM KFFR. Some things Weatherwax enjoys doing are playing bass guitar, reading, collecting records, going outside and spending time with his friends and family. Weatherwax hopes to become a journalist after he graduates and to see more of the world.

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