By: Kim DeVigil
Each year the University of Denver’s new class of first-time, first-year students brings something special to the campus. This year’s first-year class is no exception.
This year’s first-time, first-year class has 1,243 full-time students and 207 transfer students enrolled. But what marks this class, literally, are its marks. There are 75 class valedictorians in its ranks and 10 Boettcher scholars — bringing the number of Boettcher scholars in residence at DU to 51. The Boettcher Foundation Scholarship Program is a merit-based statewide competition for Colorado high school students recognizing scholarship, leadership, service and achievement. The Boettcher Foundation awards 40 scholarships each year.
In addition to valedictorians, approximately 350 students had a high school GPA of 4.0 or better. DU first-year students overall have an average GPA of 3.71.
DU also welcomed back to campus this fall 89 percent of the class of 2015 — the highest first-to-second-year persistence rate on record. Of the 1,231 students who started at DU as first-year, first-time students in fall 2010, 1,095 have returned to campus and persisted to the third week.
Tom Willoughby, DU’s vice chancellor of enrollment, says the University’s rising reputation is a factor in both attracting students and retaining them.
“As faculty and staff, we know DU provides an excellent educational experience. The fact that our persistence rate is so high means our students agree,” he says.
Like the past several years, the majority of the first-year class is female, representing 53 percent.
Geographically speaking, Colorado still reigns with 37 percent of all first-year students from the state. Approximately 22 percent are from the West and Southwest; 21 percent are from the Midwest; 7 percent are from the Northeast; and 3 percent are from the Southeast.
The number of international first-time, first-year students also increased from 7.5 percent to 9.4 percent. Like the last three years in a row, more are from China than any other country.
At the end of the third week of classes, total enrollment this fall — including undergraduate and graduate students, The Women’s College and University College — is 11,885, which is a decrease of less than 1 percent compared to last year.
Third-week numbers are considered the University’s “official” enrollment figures.