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.

Planned Leave

If you are returning from a leave of absence through Planned Leave, follow the prompts in the Records section of RAMweb.

There are important steps you’ll need to take to be ready to enroll once you’re readmitted. We strongly encourage you to apply early – six months prior to these recommended application dates.

Application Dates

  • Fall Semester (classes begin mid-August): August 1
  • Spring Semester (classes begin mid-January): January 2
  • Summer Session (classes begin mid-May through mid-July): May 1

Though early application is strongly recommended, we will accept applications until the first day of classes for the term.

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.

Requirements 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.

Good Academic Standing

  • If you have a cumulative CSU GPA of 2.0+, you are in good standing, academically eligible to return.
  • Your eligibility to return and to register for courses may be impacted by non-academic factors, such as holds from your prior enrollment.

Probationary Status

  • If you have a cumulative CSU GPA <2.0 but have not been academically dismissed, you likely are in a probationary standing, academically eligible to return.
  • You will have one or two semesters to repair your CSU GPA to avoid academic dismissal.
  • If you’ve attended another institution since leaving CSU, submit an official transcript for transfer evaluation purposes. Successful completion of course work at another institution will not change your probationary status upon return or impact your CSU GPA.
  • You are strongly encouraged to meet with your academic advisor now to ensure that you have a plan in place to support your success upon return.
  • Because we care about your success, we may contact you to offer additional support if there are concerns about your readiness to resume your academic efforts here.
  • Your eligibility to return and to register for courses may be impacted by non-academic factors, such as holds from your prior enrollment.

Dismissed Status

If you were academically dismissed from CSU, you must demonstrate readiness to return through one of the two following options:

  • Repair your cumulative CSU GPA to a 2.0 or higher through non-degree enrollment in Summer Session, GUEST or CSU Online. 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 with outside credit 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 your academic advisor to determine which option is best for you based on your CSU GPA deficiency, proximity to graduation, and other factors.

Your eligibility to return and to register for courses may be impacted by non-academic factors, such as holds from your prior enrollment.

Competitive Majors and Requests to Change Major

Regardless of your academic standing when you left CSU, you may return to the major you were previously in or request a different major.

Some majors have more competitive entrance requirements. If you are eligible to return but do not meet the more competitive entrance requirements for your preferred major, you may be readmitted in a corresponding “undeclared-[program] interest area” so that you may work toward the prerequisites for entrance after returning to CSU.

What is a Fresh Start?

The Fresh Start policy allows students to restart their CSU GPA while retaining credit for courses in which they earned a C- or better. Generally, it best serves students in a probationary or dismissed status who require more than 30 credits of course work to complete their degree.

Although a Fresh Start allows for a change in academic standing once an applicant is approved to return, eligibility for a Fresh Start does not guarantee eligibility to return.

Who is eligible for Fresh Start?

There are two types of Fresh Start.

Academic Fresh Start

The University’s general Academic Fresh Start is designed for students whose last term of enrollment as an admitted, degree-seeking student was at least two years prior.

In addition to demonstrating the necessary absence from CSU degree-seeking enrollment, candidates granted an Academic Fresh Start also demonstrate at least one of the following:

  1. Success in a job or volunteer experience, evidenced by strong letters of recommendation from an employer/supervisor (recommendations must not be from a family member or relative).
  2. At least 15 credits of academic course work with a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA from another institution or through CSU non-degree enrollment (GUEST, Summer Only, CSU Online).

Freshman Accelerated Fresh Start

The Freshman Accelerated Fresh Start opportunity is available for first-time first-year students who finish their first semester at CSU with a GPA below 1.000 and allows students to return after just 1-3 semesters away from CSU (less than the two year Academic Fresh Start minimum).

To be eligible, students are required to submit supplemental documentation that addresses a combination of factors, including evidence of maturity and/or academic success at another institution as well as their strengthened preparation for academic success at CSU.

A student can only receive one Fresh Start, and only students working toward completion of a first undergraduate degree are eligible.

How do I apply for a Fresh Start?

Before you apply to return to the University, you’re encouraged to have two important conversations:

  • Visit with your academic advisor or academic success coordinator to determine whether Fresh Start is an option. You’ll want to fully understand the impact of a Fresh Start on your degree plan upon return.
  • Visit with an admissions counselor to discuss the Return process and your potential eligibility to return. Eligibility for a Fresh Start does not guarantee the opportunity to return.

Within the Returning Student application, you’ll be prompted to indicate whether you’re requesting a Fresh Start. If yes, you’ll be required to write a statement of motivation on why you would like to return to CSU and why you think you are now ready to succeed. You’ll be asked to analyze your past behavior and provide evidence of change and success since you left CSU.

In your statement, include an action plan for academic success that you have researched and considered carefully.  Describe specifically how you will utilize campus advising and resources. Review the Collaborative for Student Achievement website for suggested resources.

Your application and statement may be reviewed by a committee composed of representatives from Admissions, the Collaborative for Student Achievement, and the Committee on Scholastic Standards.

More details are available.

For more information about Fresh Start, your permanent academic record, and your progress to graduation, be sure to consult your academic advisor/academic success coordinator and the University’s Scholastic Standard policy.

Please note that other institutions are not obligated to recognize our Academic Fresh Start policy and may not honor the new GPA.

You will apply as a Returning Student using the Undergraduate 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.

Only students starting a new degree program and academically dismissed students are required to submit an official transcript from each institution attended after CSU. Students in good or probationary standing are encouraged to send official transcripts for work completed since leaving CSU for transfer evaluation purposes only.

The personal statement is OPTIONAL but strongly encouraged for students in a probationary or dismissed status who are NOT seeking a Fresh Start.

The personal statement is REQUIRED for students who ARE seeking a Fresh Start.

  1. Write a statement of motivation on why you would like to return to CSU and why you think you are now ready to succeed. Analyze your past behavior and provide evidence of change and success since you left CSU.
  2. In your statement, include an action plan for academic success that you have researched and considered carefully.  Describe specifically how you will utilize campus advising and resources. Review the Collaborative for Student Achievement website for suggested resources.

Recommendations and Additional Support Documents

  • Recommendations and additional support documents, such as a resume, are optional.
  • These items are most helpful as part of applying for a Fresh Start.

We begin processing applications and releasing decisions 9-12 months prior to the start of the term; early application is strongly encouraged.

Within 1-3 days after submitting your application, you’ll receive instructions to check the status of your application online.

All status updates and final decisions are sent by email only. Check your email regularly, keep a valid email address on file with us and add admissions@colostate.edu to your safe senders list.

When you refresh your eID, you will be assigned a university email account, which will be the key tool for other CSU offices to reach out to you. Be sure to check this account regularly or set up forwarding to an account you use more frequently.

Ready to apply? Begin now.

Undergrad Intent to Return