What we look for in your application

Heather Daniels on the Oval

From transcripts and extracurriculars to the application itself, applying to Colorado State involves opening a window into your world for our team here in the Office of Admissions.

Whether you’re considering applying to CSU or have already hit the submit button, you may wonder what we’re looking for as we review the information you’ve shared. I’m here to give you an inside look at the world of Admissions at Colorado State.

Here’s what we look for in your application.

#1: You’re ready for the academic challenge.

Our job is to make sure that you’re equipped for the road ahead. One of the most important measures of readiness for the academic challenge of college is how you’ve performed academically before arriving here.

The numbers

Research has suggested that grade point average (GPA) is the single most predictive factor of a student’s potential for success at the college level, and that’s why we feel comfortable saying that a 3.0 GPA is a great first step in being well-qualified for admission here.

The majority of students we admit are strong candidates based on academic achievement alone. We publish our “mid-50% range” for freshmen and for transfers to give you a sense of the academic achievement of students admitted to CSU. As you look at the mid-50% range, think of it this way: 75% of the students we admit fall within or above the published range, and 25% fall slightly below the published range.

Beyond GPA, we assess trends in the efforts and achievements you demonstrate over three to four years. We look at the subjects you take, their academic rigor, and then assess your readiness for the major you’re seeking.

We don’t require ACT or SAT test scores or a letter of recommendation.

The full picture

With all that said, we know reading your transcript is not the only effective way to understand your readiness for success here. That’s why we review applications holistically.

What is holistic review? In short, it takes a range of academic and personal factors into consideration so you can feel confident that our decision is not based on numbers alone.

Your activities, honors, and personal statement allow us to have a more well-rounded understanding of who you are, what you have accomplished, what you’re passionate about, and what will help you to be successful and make a difference at CSU.

Help us understand

Finally, we give you the opportunity to provide an academic explanation to help us better understand the circumstances that may have negatively impacted your performance.

It’s worth it to take great care with every piece of your application so we get a full picture of your academic readiness.

#2: You’ll be a positive addition to our community.

Have you seen the hashtag #Ramily floating around?

It’s no surprise that our students connect CSU to the word “family.” Our community is built on support, respect, and helpfulness. If you visit you’ll see that there’s a special feeling here that you won’t find on any other campus in Colorado.

A community this strong takes work to build and develop. In the Office of Admissions, we do our part by ensuring that incoming students are well-balanced individuals and understand what we expect of them as Rams.

When reviewing applications, we also look for students who believe in taking action and getting involved. This could present as participation in a hobby, club, organization, volunteer work, or job.

If you’re a freshman applicant and are honing your personal statement, keep in mind that we embrace the process, not just the result. Learning is about the journey and sometimes failure is a large part of it. We welcome personal statements that speak not only to triumphs but also lessons learned.

Sound good?

At CSU we value unique experiences and backgrounds, and will take pride in reviewing your application in a fair and holistic way.

If you have questions about the process or are unsure about parts of the application, please contact us. Our admissions counselors are here to help and would love to hear from you.

Heather Daniels
Author: Heather Daniels

Heather is the Director of the CSU Office of Admissions. She has over 20 years of college admissions experience, seven of which have been as a proud member of the CSU Admissions team. She enjoys using her experience to help prospective students from around the world access a college education.

Last updated August 2021