More than 100,000 apply to study at ASU in 2015

April 30, 2015

Chase Turner had options.

The high school senior earned a GPA of 3.9 at his Redding, Calif., school, was the quarterback of the football team and served on the student government. Offers from universities in California, Nevada and Tucson had rolled in. ASU's Palm Walk Students Arizona State University As ASU’s reputation grows around the country and the world, more and more students are applying to be Sun Devils. More than 100,000 students have applied to start undergraduate and graduate programs at ASU in 2015. Photo by: Charlie Leight/ASU News Download Full Image

But as he sat down to consider his acceptance letters, Turner realized that deciding which school to attend was not going to be difficult.

“There was something about ASU that kept drawing me back,” said Turner, 17, who found himself daydreaming about the university after his first campus tour. “I wanted to see more; I wanted to explore more.”

Turner, who has already put an ASU wallpaper on his phone, will start as a freshman in film studies this fall.

Over the past several weeks, millions of students like Turner have been making their college decisions, leading up to the unofficial national decision day May 1.

ASU encourages, but does not require, students to make their decision by May 1. But even with more data still to come, the number of applications to ASU this year is trending up: More than 100,000 students have applied to start undergraduate and graduate programs at ASU in 2015.

“We’re seeing a huge interest in ASU from all around the country and the world,” said Kent Hopkins, vice provost of enrollment services. “The prestige of ASU and the message of the New American University is striking a chord with prospective students from all walks of life.”

More of the students who apply are choosing to attend ASU. Based on the number of people who have already committed to join Turner in the undergraduate class of 2019, the university is on track to enroll nearly 11,000 freshmen this fall, up nearly 20 percent in just three years.

And interest in ASU outside of Arizona continues to grow as well. Applications from out-of-state students are up 37 percent since 2012.

Turner has been awarded a Provost’s Scholarship to attend ASU, one of the university’s honors for top students. The number of high-achieving students applying to ASU is also increasing, up 13 percent since 2012. 

Part of the increase is the result of a concerted effort by the university to reach out to students throughout the country.

“We have representatives in Dallas, Denver, Chicago, Seattle, several cities in California and in Washington, D.C.,” said David Burge, the executive director of admissions services. “The reputation of ASU is on the rise nationally, and as a result we’re attracting students from parts of the country we did not previously reach."

Interest in ASU from overseas is also substantial. ASU currently has about 8,800 international students enrolled, some 3,200 of whom are from China.

The vast majority of programs at ASU do not have caps on the number of people who can enroll. As part of the university’s commitment to offering an accessible education to anyone who meets the admissions requirements, if someone wants to attend ASU, he or she can.

And for students who are on the fence, they can reach out to Chase Turner.

He is so excited about attending ASU, he has already taken on the role of an unofficial ambassador. This week he spent several hours persuading one of his friends from nearby Cottonwood, Calif., to come to Tempe too.

“I talked his ear off about how great ASU is,” said Turner, “and just how amazing everything about the school is.”

Turner’s friend had likely already sensed his enthusiasm. When he got back from a recent orientation visit, Turner said his anticipation was palpable.

“It just really seemed like the place for me,” he said. “Deep down in my heart. All of my friends, they all knew that ASU is where my heart is.”

ASU president: Major progress needed to bolster Latino success in higher education

April 30, 2015

Education is key for the success of Latinos and, in turn, for the success of the state itself. Yet only a small percent of Arizona’s Hispanic population will graduate from college, said ASU President Michael M. Crow.

Despite new programs and scholarships geared to bolster Hispanics in postsecondary education success, he said, that gap will only widen without game-changing progress.  Michael M. Crow ASU President Arizona State University Arizona Biltmore Hotel Download Full Image

"As a New American University, ASU is redefining higher education to increase access to a quality education, an effort that extends across all of America's income levels and communities," Crow said April 30 at an event hosted by the Helios Education Foundation at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix.

"We are also committed in our charter to taking responsibility for the broader community, for the community where we live and work. Both of these aims require that we address the Latino student-achievement gap. Arizona cannot fulfill its greatest potential if it fails to educate the fastest-growing populace in the state."

Crow said Arizona has an opportunity to lead the nation in closing the Latino student-achievement gap and securing a future where every student, regardless of income level, is prepared to succeed. However, poverty remains the biggest roadblock.

He noted that 58 percent of Latinos in Arizona live in poverty, a key determinant for college readiness and attainment. Without change or long-term solutions, it is projected that 62 percent of Latinos in the state will live in poverty, compared with 31 percent of Whites. That outcome could stagnate Arizona’s economy, burden government services and create more poverty. 

Over the past decade, the university and Helios have developed several programs to encourage the success of Hispanic students, educators and administrators.

Those partnerships include the American Dream Academy, where parents and teachers collaborate to transform each child’s educational environment at home and school; the Hispanic Mother Daughter Program, sponsored by ASU's Cesar Chavez Leadership Institute; Spirit of Service Scholars, which honors outstanding students interested in pursuing careers in the public and non-profit sector; and Leaders for Learning, a principal-training program for Hispanic teachers.

But despite the university's attempts to create innovate pathways for Latino students looking to enter college, Crow said more is needed to address the shortfall and steer Arizona towards greater economic prosperity.

Helios Education Foundation CEO and President Paul J. Luna said that despite the gloomy statistics, he believes Arizona still has an opportunity to lead the nation in recognizing Latino success. But it must start at home and continue seamlessly through college.

"The solution starts with the agreement of what we're trying to achieve and understanding the importance of Latino future success," Luna said. "It's also about ensuring that parents and families start to build a college-going culture and that we provide resources and strong support mechanisms to Latinos, who traditionally come from underserved communities."

Crow’s presentation, “Arizona’s Economic Imperative: Leading the Nation in Latino Student Success,” was delivered before approximately 200 education, business, community and civic leaders looking to improve Latino college success as well as the state's future economic growth. 

According to Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce, by 2020, 65 percent of all jobs in the economy will require postsecondary education and training beyond high school. However, only 35 percent of Latino adults in Arizona have any post-high-school training and a mere 9 percent of Latino adults have a bachelor's degree or higher.

Since 2006, Helios has invested more than $155 million in educated-related programs and initiatives in Arizona and Florida.

Reporter , ASU Now