GED applicants

GED applicants must submit an official GED transcript, a high school transcript from the last high school attended, and a personal statement.

The factors we consider for admission include: Overall academic preparation in core subjects, academic rigor, foundation skills, and trends. Strong candidates for admission with a GED generally have completed 75% of the recommended high school course work with rigor and achievement demonstrating the ability to thrive in CSU’s rich academic environment.

Our holistic review allows us also to consider personal background, personal and professional accomplishments since leaving school, and factors supporting a return to school. Applicants are encouraged to use their personal statement or academic explanation to highlight the other factors that demonstrate potential for academic success, particularly if prior classroom achievement was hampered by extenuating circumstances.

Colorado State University also recognizes the California High School Proficiency Exam and the High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) from the state of Wisconsin in place of the GED. Applicants who receive a CHSPE or HSED  instead of a GED are reviewed on a case-by-case basis because an admission standard has not yet been set for these options.

Early high school graduation

Admission preference is given to students who complete four years of high school and use the time effectively to take accelerated and/or academically rigorous course work (i.e., Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and dual enrollment college courses). Colorado State will admit exceptional students graduating early, provided they have satisfied all freshman admission standards and their credentials are competitive with priority consideration candidates graduating with four years of course work (including accelerated and/or academically rigorous courses, as identified above).

Early graduate eligibility requirements

  • All early graduate applicants must complete and submit the Early Graduate Supplemental Information Form by the completed application deadline. An admission decision cannot be rendered until the form has been received.
  • All applicants must have completed the equivalent of their junior year (75% of high school graduation requirements) before a decision can be rendered. Applicants graduating one semester early must have at least six semesters complete (seven may be requested); applicants graduating one year early must have at least five semesters complete (six may be requested).
  • Early graduate applicants should use the personal essay, in part, to address why they elected to graduate early and how they demonstrate college readiness.
  • Early graduates should be at least 17 years of age prior to the start of their first term of enrollment, though we will consider students slightly younger than this with compelling extenuating circumstances.
  • Admission is provisional until a final, official high school transcript has been received. Admitted students are not able to register for the second semester of enrollment until a final, official transcript has been received. Homeschooled applicants and students who earned a GED are exempt.

Important notes regarding timing

  • The supplemental form must reflect that the applicant will have satisfied all graduation requirements and will have officially graduated from high school (or earned a GED) prior to the start of the first term of enrollment. This means that early graduates applying for admission to the spring semester must have a graduation date prior to the start of the spring semester on their supplemental form and on their final, official high school transcript.
  • Early graduate applicants who are eligible for spring entry are strongly encouraged to consider the unique challenges of starting at CSU mid year. Moving into an established community in the residence halls, transitioning without the benefit of a four-day orientation program such as fall semester’s Ram Welcome, and jumping very quickly from a high school environment in December to a university environment in January require additional student initiative, tenacity, adaptability, and maturity. Consider carefully whether this is a good option for you.
  • Most institutional and private scholarships/awards are based on fall semester entry; applicants to the spring semester will be notified if they have been awarded any scholarship support in the rare case that funding is available.
  • Students who will have met all graduation requirements at semester but who will not graduate until May/June (with their class) are not eligible for consideration for early graduate admission to the spring term; however, they can apply for admission to the fall term and pursue other educational or non-educational opportunities during the spring.
  • Students who officially graduate at semester (December/January) and plan to attend an another institution for the spring before entering CSU in the fall may be considered transfer applicants instead of freshman early graduate applicants. In such cases, applicants are encouraged to contact the Office of Admissions to verify instructions for application and the implications for their eligibility at CSU.


Applicants who have completed some or all of their high school education through homeschooling are not required to present additional test results or transcript reports. If the homeschool transcript does not follow a traditional academic year or use letter or percentile grades, information about the curriculum and method of student assessment should be included. Homeschool applicants are strongly encouraged to use their essay to address their homeschool experience. Please see the Homeschool Q&A for more information.

Dual enrollment

See the dual-enrollment  and fifth-year programs page for detailed information.

Online high school coursework/diploma

See the online high school page for detailed information.

Non-graded schools

Transcripts must include a complete list of courses taken in grades 9-12, comments on course content if the titles are not self-explanatory, and information about the duration of the course if something other than a traditional academic year is used. The transcript also must include an assessment of individual student performance (e.g., teacher narratives, portfolio evaluations) and an explanation of any applicable assessment scales. In cases where assessment scales are not used, the transcript should provide an explanation of how you were deemed ready for promotion to the next academic level. Transcripts for coursework completed concurrently at a local high school or college also should be submitted.

Exceptional students from non-graded academic settings can be considered for admission-based scholarships. In order to qualify, applicants must be able to demonstrate high achievement in/mastery of a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum and must present competitive ACT or SAT scores.

Please note: Guidelines established by the Colorado Department of Higher Education (formerly the Colorado Commission on Higher Education) require that all students from non-graded educational settings be assigned a 3.3 “proxy” GPA (on a 4.0 scale), regardless of the type of assessment system used by the school. While the 3.3 proxy GPA is part of the academic profile, the admission decision process still includes a detailed, personal review of the actual assessment of student performance. It is critical that you provide information about your individual experience and achievements.

International coursework for US citizens

United States citizens and permanent residents should submit the documents listed in the application checklist for domestic freshmen. Applicants should include an original, official transcript of international work plus a certified translation if the original is not in English. If the international work has been reported as transfer work on a US transcript, include a copy of the original international transcript in addition to the official US transcript.

Regardless of citizenship, applicants with international coursework may be required to demonstrate proof of English proficiency depending upon factors such as length of time outside of US, language of academic instruction, and primary language spoken at home. For more information, refer to our English Language Proficiency guidelines.