Your application will be evaluated for returning student admission if you previously were enrolled at CSU as an admitted, degree-seeking student. We look forward to welcoming you back to complete a degree in progress or to start a new undergraduate degree as a second bachelor/post-bachelor returner.
Returning to CSU
Fall Term (begins mid-August)
Applications open in August, and students are encouraged to apply at least six months prior to the start of the term.
- Second bachelor’s/post-bac returners: June 1
- First degree completion: August 1
Spring Semester (begins mid-January)
Applications open in June, and students are encouraged to apply at least six months prior to the start of the term.
- Second bachelor’s/post-bac returners: November 1
- First degree completion: January 1
Summer Session (mid-May through mid-August)
Applications open in August, and students are encouraged to apply at least six months prior to the start of the term.
- Second bachelor’s/post-bac returners: May 1
- First degree completion: June 1
(It’s possible to apply as a non-degree student for the Summer Session after this date.)
If your intention is to graduate at the end of the term for which you are seeking to return, you must contact the Degree Office to submit your Intent to Graduate in addition to applying to return.
Standards to Return
If you are returning to CSU to start a new degree, your eligibility will be impacted by our Second bachelor’s/post-bachelor admission standards.
If you are returning to CSU to complete a degree in progress, your eligibility will be impacted by your Academic Standing when you left CSU, as outlined in the University’s Scholastic Standards policy. If you have questions about your academic standing, contact email@example.com.
Good Academic Standing
- If you are in good academic standing, you may be cleared to return as soon as we receive your application to return, provided you have no holds on your enrollment (e.g., financial, disciplinary).
- If you are in a probationary academic standing, you may be cleared to return shortly after we receive your application to return. Because we care about your success, however, we may contact you to offer additional support if there are concerns about your readiness to resume your academic efforts here.
- Successful completion of course work at another institution before returning to CSU can demonstrate readiness for academic success but will not change your probationary status upon return or impact your CSU GPA.
- During your first semester back at CSU, you will be invited to participate in Ram Reconnect, an opportunity for you to work closely with professionals committed to helping you fully understand your probationary status.
If you were academically dismissed from CSU, you must demonstrate readiness to return through one of two options, EITHER:
- Repair your cumulative CSU GPA to a 2.0 or higher through non-degree enrollment in Summer Session, GUEST or OnlinePlus. You will return in good academic standing if you first repair your cumulative CSU GPA.
- Demonstrate success according to our transfer admission standards with course work completed at another institution after leaving CSU. Strong candidates for returning/transfer admission present 15-30 college-level academic semester credits with a GPA of 2.5 or better and no grades of D/F or repeat/deletes. At a minimum you must complete more than 12 credits to be considered for return. The review of transfer work includes an evaluation of the quality and rigor of the course work completed and the grades achieved. The expectation is that your transfer work will demonstrate the level of success you are ready to achieve and capable of at CSU. You will return in a probationary standing with two terms to repair your cumulative CSU GPA to 2.0 if you choose this option.
You are strongly encouraged to visit with an Academic Success Coordinator in the Center for Advising and Student Achievement (CASA) to evaluate which option is best for you based on your CSU GPA deficiency, proximity to graduation, and other factors.
Competitive Majors and Requests to Change Majors
Regardless of your academic standing when you left CSU, you may return to the major you were previously in or request a different major. Be aware, however, that some majors have more competitive entrance requirements that you may not satisfy. If you are eligible to return but do not meet the more competitive entrance requirements, you will return in a corresponding “undeclared-[program] interest area” (e.g., undeclared-business interest area) so that you may work toward the prerequisites for entrance after returning to CSU.
What is an Academic Fresh Start?
The Academic Fresh Start policy allows students who were academically dismissed or who left on academic probation to return in good academic standing to complete a first degree already in progress.
An Academic Fresh Start allows for a change in academic standing once an applicant is approved to return; it does not guarantee eligibility to return.
Who is eligible for Fresh Start?
In order to qualify for a Fresh Start, returning students must meet the following criteria:
- Must have been enrolled previously as an admitted, degree-seeking student at CSU;
- Last term of enrollment as an admitted student must have been at least two years prior (courses taken as a non-degree student through CSU Online, GUEST, or Summer Session are exempt);
- Must be working toward completion of a first undergraduate degree.
A Fresh Start can be granted to a student only once.
How do I apply for a Fresh Start?
To apply for an Academic Fresh Start, you must meet with an academic adviser in the Center for Advising and Student Achievement (CASA). Your CASA adviser will help you to determine whether Fresh Start is an option and will illustrate the impact an Academic Fresh Start will have on your degree plan upon return. In addition, your CASA adviser will provide you with the necessary paperwork to get departmental approval for your return under an Academic Fresh Start.
Though you may begin the process with CASA, you are strongly encouraged to meet with an admissions representative before you get too far into the Academic Fresh Start paperwork to discuss the Intent to Return process and your potential eligibility to return. Eligibility for an Academic Fresh Start does not guarantee the opportunity to return.
How can I qualify to return with an Academic Fresh Start?
Eligibility for an Academic Fresh Start does not guarantee the opportunity to return. If you struggled academically during your initial enrollment, the admission committee wants to ensure that you can successfully complete your degree upon return.
If you were academically dismissed, you are expected to demonstrate the potential for academic success with college work completed since being dismissed. Strong candidates present 15 or more college-level credits with a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA and no D/F grades. In addition to submitting new academic information, Fresh Start applicants are strongly encouraged to submit an essay and support documentation (e.g. resume, recommendations, transcripts from other institutions attended since Colorado State, etc.) addressing their academic experience and personal or professional accomplishments since leaving the University as an admitted degree-seeking student.
While eligibility for a Fresh Start does not guarantee your readmission, it can be an important factor in your admission decision, particularly if your GPA deficiency is so significant that you would be academically dismissed again without a Fresh Start. For example, dismissed students who qualify for readmission with transfer work face significant hardship if they need more than 30 credits at a 3.0 GPA within two semesters of returning; in many cases, such students are academically dismissed again before they can repair. In such cases, an Academic Fresh Start offers substantive support to students who otherwise have demonstrated readiness for academic success upon return.
What happens after I’m approved to return with an Academic Fresh Start?
Students who enroll after being granted an Academic Fresh Start have a demarcation on the permanent academic record to differentiate the previous record from the new academic record achieved under the Fresh Start policy. Previous courses and grades still are reflected on the permanent academic record.
Only grades earned after the Fresh Start demarcation are computed in the new GPA.
Credits for those courses in which grades of at least “C-” or “S” were awarded prior to the Fresh Start may be applied toward graduation requirements even though they will not be calculated into the GPA.
In order to graduate, students must successfully complete at least 30 upper-division credits of course work in residence at CSU after the Fresh Start is granted.
Please note that other institutions are not obligated to recognize our Academic Fresh Start policy and may not honor the new GPA.
Where can I get more information?
Office of Admissions: firstname.lastname@example.org or (970) 491-6909
Center for Advising and Student Achievement (CASA): (970) 491-7095
You will apply using the Undergraduate Intent to Return application, whether you are returning to a degree in progress or starting a new CSU degree.
This abbreviated application seeks just enough detail to allow us to update your student record. Be sure you fully complete all residency prompts within the application, even though you may have been classified as a Colorado resident during your prior CSU attendance.
Second bachelor/post-bac returners must include a $50 nonrefundable application processing fee using Visa or MasterCard; fee waivers can be requested within the application and are granted in cases of documented financial hardship.
Transcripts are required for any college work completed since leaving CSU (if applicable) for second bachelor/post-bac applicants and returners who have been academically dismissed. Other returning applicants may be prompted to submit official college transcripts for transfer evaluation purposes only.
While an essay/personal statement is not required, it can be helpful in the course of our holistic review.
For students in a probationary/dismissed status:
- Explain what has prevented you from being academically successful / completing your degree in the past, what you have changed to be more academically/personally successful, and how you demonstrate through more recent academic work and/or personal and professional accomplishments that you are ready to excel when you return. You are encouraged to touch on these important topics even if you plan to apply for an Academic Fresh Start after you are approved to return.
- The information you share can help us evaluate your current potential for success compared with your prior performance and can give us insight into the additional supports that might provide you with the best return experience.
For second bachelor/post-bac returners:
- We would love to learn more about how CSU fits into your longer term goals in case there are additional resources or tips we can offer.
Additional Optional Support Documents
- Examples of optional support documents include recommendations or a resume to illustrate what you have done while you have been absent from CSU.
Application Decisions and Status Updates
- Applications are reviewed in the order in which they become complete.
- Status updates and decisions are posted within RAMweb, emailed and mailed to applicants on a rolling basis.
- Some applications take longer to review than others, and additional information may be requested before a decision can be rendered.
- Email is a primary communication tool for the Office of Admissions. Check your email regularly, keep a valid email address on file with us and add email@example.com to your safe senders list.
- When you create your eID, you will be assigned a Google Apps @rams Email, which will be the key tool for other CSU programs and services reaching out to you. Be sure to check this account regularly or set up the forwarding tool so that all your CSU email arrives at the address you used in your application. [more information]