CSU sees 12% drop in freshman enrollment during pandemic, but online education surging

Enrollment at Colorado State University is down in multiple categories — freshmen, undergraduates, international students and first-generation students — though the number of people signing up for online education has risen, a reflection of student behavior during the COVID-19 era, university officials said Friday.

Total enrollment on the Fort Collins campus decreased 3.6%, with a total headcount of 27,835 this fall, and 3.3% at the Pueblo campus, for a total of 3,716 students this semester.

“Remarkably during a pandemic year, CSU Pueblo increased student retention more than at any time in the last decade (a 5 percentage point increase) and CSU in Fort Collins held steady, retaining 85.3% of its 2019 freshman class, exactly the same percentage as the previous year when COVID-19 was not a factor,” CSU officials said in a news release.

The Fort Collins campus welcomed 23,590 undergraduates this fall, a 4.1% decline from last year with

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