How to Get Into Colorado State University: SAT and ACT Scores, GPA, and More

How To Get Into Colorado State University - Magoosh

Colorado State University is the biggest and most prestigious in Colorado’s public university system.

Situated at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Fort Collins, surrounded by national parkland (but only an hour from Denver!) this respected research university enrolls 26,400 undergraduate and 7,294 grad students.

CSU is known for its cutting-edge research in science, particularly in the public health, environmental, climate, and clean energy technology fields.

Bachelor’s degree students are concentrated in the business department, with 14% of students, biology with 11%, and engineering with 9%.

Tuition is $11,831 for in-state students and $29,732 for out-of-state, making it a financially competitive choice for the region, particularly considering the opportunities a big research university offers.

If you’re interested in studying STEM in a beautiful, dynamic city, Colorado State is an excellent choice!

how to get into Colorado State University - Magoosh

Now let’s take a quick look at some CSU admissions stats…

CSU Quick Admissions Statistics (For the Class of 2023)

CSU SAT scores (average composite score of admitted students)
1175 out of 1600 (middle 50% of students accepted)
CSU ACT scores (average composite score of admitted students)
25.5 (middle 50% of students accepted)
CSU GPA (average of admitted students)
3.64 (out of 4.0)
CSU acceptance Rate

Colorado State University SAT Scores

A 1175 on the SAT is in the 70th percentile of test-takers nationwide–so (even though CSU has a high admissions rate) it’s a fairly high score.

But, before we get into the SAT nuts and bolts, here are a few things you should know if your planning on submitting your SAT scores to Colorado State:

  • If you take the SAT multiple times, CSU will consider you based on your highest subscores from each section (your “superscore”) for admission and scholarship decisions.
  • CSU does not consider the written section of the SAT.
  • Test scores are not required at all if you are older than 22, or if you have been out of high school for more than four years.

So then, let’s breakdown SAT scores at Colorado State by section:

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Composite 117510701280

While the average SAT score for admitted students is a 1175, it’s useful to consider the top and bottom 25th percentiles when setting your goal score:

  • The 25th percentile for Colorado State SAT scores is 1070
  • The 75th percentile for Colorado State SAT scores is 1280

That means a score below 1070 is below average, and only 25% of admitted students had scores lower, whereas a score above 1280 is above average and only 25% of admitted students scored higher.

Aiming for the 75th percentile is a great idea, so we recommend that you take the SAT as many times as necessary to score a 1280 or higher if you want the best chances of getting in.

For more information on how to submit your SAT scores, read this general information about submitting supporting documents to CSU.

Colorado State University ACT Scores

Here are some things to know about submitting your ACT scores to CSU:

  • The Writing portion of the ACT is not considered.
  • CSU also superscores the ACT.
  • If your 23+ or have been out of high school for 5+ years, submitting your test scores isn’t mandatory.

Historically, the average ACT score of those admitted to Colorado State is 25.5, and the ACT percentiles shake out as follows:

  • The 25th percentile for CSU ACT scores is 23
  • The 75th percentile for CSU ACT scores is 28

If you scored a 26 or higher, that would place you in the top 50% of applicants, and anyone with higher than a 28 is going to be a very competitive applicant.

Colorado State University GPA Average

The average high school GPA of students admitted to CSU is 3.64 out of 4.0, which is a B+ average. This means you’ll need a mix of A’s and B’s, and few to no C’s to have a good chance of getting in.

If you’re a junior or senior and your GPA is a little low, don’t worry! You can probably improve your GPA enough to get accepted to CSU over the next few semesters.

Doing well in AP and IB classes is also a good way to bump up your GPA (since these courses offer an extra grade point), and will show the CSU admissions office that you are prepared for college-level coursework.

Not sure what your grade point average is? Find out how your school calculates your GPA, and see if your on track for CSU admissions. .

Colorado State University Acceptance Rate

Colorado’s acceptance rate is 84%, making it fairly accessible. Four out of every five students are admitted!

This means even if your scores aren’t quite average, there’s still a pretty good chance you’ll get in: only about one-third of students who are admitted actually enroll in fall.

Colorado State’s early admission program has an identical acceptance rate, which means unless you’re really certain CSU is where you’d like to be, or just want the confidence applying early gives you, there’s not too much danger in waiting until spring to apply.

Advice from the Colorado State University Admissions Office

We talked to Megan Bush, a Senior Admissions Counselor at CSU, about her expert advice for students applying to Colorado State University.

Let’s hear what Megan has to say!

How To Get Into Colorado State - Magoosh

    “At Colorado State University, we consider each application holistically, which means that when we review your application, we consider you as a whole person who can bring a unique perspective to our diverse community. We want you here, so we are always looking for reasons to admit you. As a counselor, I need your help to find those reasons in your application.

    Here are my top pieces of advice for filling out your application:

    • If you have any concerns about your application, address them directly in the optional academic explanation. For example, if you have one low-scoring semester, tell me why. Did you miss class for a medical emergency? Did you face a personal obstacle? Sometimes, extenuating circumstances help me understand the story behind the numbers.
    • Talk about yourself! We want to get to know you. Please use your personal statement to tell me more about you, the challenges you’ve faced, and your passions. This is your chance to share your story.
    • Reach out to your counselor with any questions or concerns. You have the unique opportunity to connect with the person who may be reading your application, so don’t hesitate to do so. We are here for you.

    We know that the application process can be stressful, so please know that the Admissions Counselors at CSU are your advocates and here to help. We would be thrilled to welcome you to CSU.

    Finish high school strong, and GO RAMS!”

Check out Colorado State University’s website for more information about what CSU looks for in your application!

How to Get Into Colorado State University

The most important thing to remember about getting into CSU is that your application is built out of many different pieces. One piece alone is not going to make or break you admissions.

But if you can cover all the bases, and show the Colorado State admissions office that you’re a well-rounded applicant, you’ll have a very good chance of being admitted.

So, to recap, for the best shot at getting into Colorado State University, you’ll need:

All these pieces are important…but since your ACT and/or SAT scores play such a large role in your application, it’s important to start studying as early as possible! Check out this 1-week SAT free trial as well as a great 1-week ACT free trial to get you started.

Happy studying and good luck! 🙂

how to get into Colorado State University - Magoosh

Improve your SAT or ACT score, guaranteed. Start your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh SAT Prep or your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh ACT Prep today!

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  • Molly Kiefer

    Molly is one of Magoosh’s Content Creators. She designs Magoosh’s graphic assets, manages our YouTube channels and podcasts, and contributes to the Magoosh High School Blog.

    Since 2014, Molly has tutored high school and college students preparing for the SAT, GRE, and LSAT. She began her tutoring journey while in undergrad, helping her fellow students master math, computer programming, Spanish, English, and Philosophy.

    Molly graduated from Lewis & Clark College with a B.A. in Philosophy, and she continues to study ethics to this day. An artist at heart, Molly loves blogging, making art, taking long walks and serving as personal agent to her cat, who is more popular on Instagram than she is.


By the way, Magoosh can help you study for both the SAT and ACT exams. Click here to learn more!

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