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Press Release

MSU Denver Attracts and Retains Majority of Projected ASSET Students

Contact: Tim Carroll, Office 303-556-5136, Cell 303-870-7705

Posted: September 5, 2013

(Denver) — Although undocumented students in Colorado have more higher education options that ever before, they continue to make Metropolitan State University of Denver their school of choice. 

Of the projected 500 students eligible for in-state tuition under Colorado ASSET, more than two-thirds – 348 students – are enrolled at MSU Denver. The University number represents both new and returning students.

“Our ASSET student enrollment is a remarkable testament to MSU Denver and the trust students have for our institution, says Luis Torres, deputy provost. “These students may now go to any local college or university, yet they continue to choose MSU Denver.”

Before the ASSET bill became law in April, MSU Denver took steps to even the playing field for undocumented students.

On June 7, 2012 the University’s Board of Trustees approved the Colorado High School/ GED Non-resident Tuition Rate. Under the new category, eligible undocumented students were charged less than the out-of-state rate they had been paying but more than in-state students. The University enrolled 237 students for fall 2012 and 264 for spring 2013 under the new category.

Now, the majority of these undocumented students are enrolling under the ASSET tuition rate. It allows qualified undocumented Colorado high school graduates to attend any public Colorado university or college for the in-state tuition rate.

“We have been on forefront of these issues from the very beginning, supporting the DREAM Act, the ASSET bill and then our own special tuition rate,” says Judi Diaz Bonacquisti, associate vice president of Enrollment Services. “We have created a lot of good will in the community, and students are voting with their feet.”

Of the 348 students registered under the ASSET tuition rate, 121 are new students while 227 are continuing or readmitted. Under MSU Denver’s Colorado High School/ GED Non-resident Tuition Rate, four students graduated in spring 2013 and 20 student remain registered in this category due to applications still in progress or slight differences with ASSET eligibility criteria.

The University’s support of undocumented students is appreciated by undergrads enrolling under ASSET.

Incoming freshman Sergio De La Rosa wasn’t always inspired to pursue a higher education. “I didn’t think higher education was a possibility, so I wasn’t applying myself because I kept telling myself what’s the point. I’m very grateful for the work that has been done by MSU Denver and I have a real sense of loyalty for what the University has done for me in my life.”

A high school theater teacher challenged De La Rosa to never give up and make positive choices.  He wants to obtain his degree in education, so he can help other young people as a high school teacher.

Cesiah Trejo, an incoming freshman political science major, says education “has always been a key to my success.”

“I’m always pushing myself to success regardless of the obstacles in front of me. I chose MSU Denver because they showed more support for the ASSET bill than any other school. I’m really happy to be in college and it still feels like a dream.”

Both De La Rosa and Trejo applied for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and are working to put themselves through school.


About Metropolitan State University of Denver

MSU Denver is the leader in educating undergraduate Coloradans and enrolls the highest number of students of color among the state’s four-year colleges. The University currently has 23,000 students and offers 55 majors and master’s degrees in accounting, teaching and social work. It boasts more than 75,000 alumni, the bulk of whom remain in Colorado after graduation.