Colorado Mesa University by the numbers |

Colorado Mesa University by the numbers

Brittany Markert
Colorado Mesa University’s campus is centrally located in Grand Junction, centered around North Avenue.
Free Press File Photo |


Heading back to school, whether you’re a freshman or a senior, means students must adapt to campus life.

According to Colorado Mesa University’s Outdoor Program director Chad Thatcher, “the most important thing is to get involved. There are so many clubs and organizations.

“It’s a big school, but it’s not so big that you get lost in it,” he explained.

Thatcher also noted that students with cars should get their parking permits immediately since parking on campus can be an issue.

“And check out MavBikes,” he said. “ We have about 100 free bikes [at the Outdoor Program] that we can give out to students with a $150 deposit. We’re trying to promote a bike-friendly campus, especially if you live on campus.

“Make sure to get a lock for your bike, however, because if you don’t it will be gone.”

For CMU students seeking bicycle maintenance, three bike stations — with tools and a bike pump — live around campus.

“There’s one at the Outdoor Program, one at the rec center and one at University Center,” Thatcher said.

Laura Bradley, CMU’s box office manager, added that students should keep an eye out for “student rush rates. The first night of any theatre production is only $4.”

— Caitlin Row, Free Press community editor

Colorado Mesa University heads back to class on Monday, Aug. 18. From undergraduate freshman to seniors earning graduate degrees, thousands of students will be flooding Grand Junction’s campus.

Here’s a campus snapshot, by the numbers:


Enrollment climbs each year at CMU. Last year more than 9,300 students were enrolled, with 46 states and 23 countries represented. Of that, 87 percent of students were in-state and 64 percent were from western Colorado’s 14 counties. Students living on campus also totaled near 2,200, spanning 12 different residence halls.

Fun Fact: One of the many reasons out-of-state students choose CMU is its unique tuition program. Out of its 9,300 students last school year, more than 900 students received special rates through the Western Undergraduate (WUE) and Mountain and Plains (M&P) tuition programs. States covered under the program include: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin.

“It’s helped increase enrollment numbers from out of state,” Curt Martin, CMU’s director of financial aid, said. “It also provides them with diversity in the dorms for students to be from other parts of the country.”

Even with tuition programs, many students still need financial assistance. More than $72.3 million was awarded last year and 75 percent of CMU’s students received aid.


At CMU, more than 60 majors are available, including accounting, criminal justice, music, sports management and education. It also offers three master’s programs — business administration, education and nursing. Many students who are unable to attend physical classes may attend classes online along subjects like nursing, public administration or radiology technology.

At 2013’s commencement ceremony, CMU awarded 1,138 degrees to graduate and undergraduate students.


Studying takes up a lot of time for students, but extra-curricular activities are also encouraged.

CMU offers more than 90 clubs and organizations, 23 Division II athletic teams, 50 Outdoor Program trips, 70 cultural events, and 16 intramural and club sports.

Sports offered at CMU include football, soccer, lacrosse and baseball. The Outdoor Program also hosts activities like rafting, mountain biking, rock climbing and more.


CMU’s student-to-faculty ratio is 22 to one. More than 200 full-time faculty members teach at CMU, which offers more than 1,200 classes each semester. According to the 2013 impact study done by CMU, in 2012 1,824 people, including students, owed their jobs to the existence of the Grand Junction-based university.


Students, staff and faculty all spend time off campus, spending money at local businesses, restaurants and events.

In 2012, CMU spent $25 million, employees spent $20.5 million, students spent $108 million and visitors spent $21 million on goods and services in western Colorado.


A growing student body at CMU means campus continues to grow.

Escalante Hall, a new hall built this summer, will house CMU’s Literature, Languages, and Mass Communication departments, as well as Rocky Mountain PBS. It is 75,000 square feet, which includes classroom space and advisor offices.

Garfield Hall is also receiving an addition to its south end, which will add 99 beds for on-campus living to be complete for the fall 2014 semester.

Starbucks is set to open Friday, Aug. 15, in the University Center’s old art gallery.

And the Maverick Center and Pavilion are receiving updates to its facilities, too, including a golf simulator, extending the indoor track, and adding more group exercise space.

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