Student Success

Since implementing our student success initiatives in 2007, the University has reached historic highs in retention rates among first-year and transfer students, and historic highs in four-, five- and six-year graduation rates. In recent surveys, more than nine out of 10 graduates rated their education as excellent, and said they would choose CSU again. That’s what we call The CSU Effect.

Making sure all who can benefit from a world-class education have access to it, CSU continues our focus on serving a diverse student body, and the most recent class of first-year students was among the most diverse and well-prepared classes in our history. Also, 1 in 4 students is a first-generation student, building on our history of being the first university in the nation to establish programs to recruit, support and focus on helping students who are the first in their families to earn a bachelor’s degree.

More on student success by the numbers:

  • $46,000 is the average starting salary of a CSU graduate
  • 83% retention rate of freshmen who return for their sophomore year, and a 78% first-generation student retention rate
  • 18:1 student to faculty ratio
  • CSU grads are employed in 49 states and 53 countries and/or are enrolled in more than 200 graduate programs across the country and around the world
  • 84% of CSU grads land jobs related to their career plans within 6 months of graduation

Two new initiatives, First Four Weeks and Momentum Year, are among key strategies for 2018-19 and the second phase of CSU’s Student Success Initiatives. Connecting with students during their first month on campus — and ensuring they are taking a recommended course load during their first year — has proven key to addressing graduation rate gaps. The FFW initiative builds momentum for first-year students to successfully complete 30 credits by fulfilling math and English coursework, including 9 credits of an area of interest; developing a productive academic mindset; and receiving guidance on majors and advising with resources that include “My Majors,” “Ram Career Ready,” and You@CSU.

Learn more about the wide range of student success programs and initiatives at CSU: