Students say ASU offers best of both worlds — a quality education and broad array of college experiences
Isaiah Crabbe wants to fly for a major airline one day. Gosia Komorniczak plans to start her own financial consulting firm in the future. And Bella Faria expects to make a positive impact on the world through policy.
The trio will begin their academic journeys this week as they join a record number of Sun Devils for the official start of the fall 2023 semester, which begins Thursday, Aug. 17.
As the first week of classes begins, Arizona State University is projecting more than 144,800 undergraduate and graduate students will be enrolled for the fall 2023 semester, with nearly 80,000 joining on one of ASU’s campuses and locations, and more than 65,400 enrolled online — the largest ASU Online enrollment in university history. More than 16,600 of those students are first-year students projected to enroll on ASU's campuses, locations and online.
Out of a total of more than 59,000 Arizonans enrolled, ASU will welcome nearly 16,500 first-year, transfer and graduate students from Arizona who are beginning their first ASU semester this week. One such Arizonan is Bella Faria, who is one of nearly 9,000 first-year students from Arizona enrolled at ASU, the largest number of first-year Arizona residents in school history.
Faria very much wants to improve the lives of others. She thinks she can achieve this through a combination of kindness and policy. She has spent her life preparing for college — even racking up more than 60 college credits in high school — so that she can reach her goals. She also believes ASU is the right place to start her journey.
“I’m very passionate about seeing change so I can help others succeed in their lives so they can have better futures,” said Faria, who graduated from Hamilton High School in Chandler, Arizona, summa cum laude with a 4.56 GPA, while earning AP Scholar and Seal of Biliteracy honors. “I’m willing to make those sacrifices (working hard in school) in order to do these things.”
Faria, whose hard work garnered her full tuition coverage in scholarships, will be a student in Barrett, The Honors College and participate in the Next Generation Service Corps. Faria plans to study at the College of Global Futures with a major in innovation in society, a minor in sustainability and a certificate in cross-sector leadership.
“I think I’ve made a fantastic choice in ASU, and I’m excited to be with other students who are aspiring for bigger and better things,” Faria said.
Like Faria, the first-year, campus-immersion student cohort from Arizona is among the most academically prepared in ASU history, with a weighted GPA of 3.97. One in four first-year students from Arizona are recipients of the Obama Scholars Award, the Arizona Promise Award or the College Attainment Grant.
And the student body continues to diversify. One in three on-campus undergraduates are the first in their families to attend a college or university. And, out of all ASU’s undergraduates, one in four identifies as Hispanic/Latino, totaling more than 27,000 students. Those growing numbers follow a year where ASU was recognized as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, earned a second Seal of Excelencia by Excelencia in Education and joined the Presidents for Latino Success.
Nancy Gonzales, executive vice president and university provost, said the university is ready to welcome students and prepared to support their academic experience at the university.
“I congratulate all students who are beginning or continuing their ASU experience this week,” Gonzales said. “Our team of faculty and staff have worked diligently over the summer to prepare curricula and university services that are designed to support your intellectual growth and physical and emotional well-being. As you work toward your goals this semester, remember that there is a strong and committed network of professionals and experts united in the goal of helping you achieve them. Believe in your abilities — because we all do.”
Beyond our home state, ASU continues to draw students from all U.S. states and 157 countries. In total, more than 15,100 international students will pursue their degree at ASU this fall semester.
ASU’s growing global reputation for academic excellence is what drew Gosia Komorniczak, an 18-year-old from Warsaw, Poland. She is looking to get a finance degree from the W. P. Carey School of Business.
Komorniczak had acceptance offers from universities in the United States, Amsterdam, the Netherlands and three top universities in Poland. However, it was her father’s dream for her to attend ASU.
“He was an international student in the United States, but unfortunately, he couldn’t attend ASU,” said Komorniczak, a scholarship recipient who will receive a New American University Award.
Komorniczak said the W. P. Carey School’s reputation, the beauty of the Tempe campus and the university’s friendly atmosphere won her over when she made a trip to Arizona in April 2022.
“I was impressed by the very professional and friendly recruitment process, from the confetti welcome message to the organized priority tasks in the My ASU portal, frequent email updates and online meetings,” Komorniczak said. “ASU simply felt like the only viable choice.”
She said her goal is to start her own financial consulting firm and visit as many U.S. national parks while in America as she can.
“I am fascinated by the diversity of nature,” Komorniczak said. “I plan to work on campus so that during my free time I can explore many of these U.S. parks.”
There are other things Komorniczak wants to explore.
“Exploring a different educational system, expanding my knowledge, experiencing American culture and cuisine,” Komorniczak said. “I love meeting new people, and possibly forming lifelong friendships are what I’m looking forward to while attending ASU.”
Matt López, deputy vice president of Academic Enterprise Enrollment and the executive director of Admission Services, said his team puts a lot of care into reaching students across the globe.
“As our admission team travels the U.S. and the world, we meet more and more talented students and their families who are inspired about what ASU has to offer,” López said. “The families of our students place great faith in ASU to prepare their students for their lives and careers and ask that we take care of them in the process. This is especially true for the families of our students traveling across the world to learn here.
"I am proud that the ASU team forms relationships with students and families throughout the year with this trust in mind. Beyond all that ASU has to offer, it is this personal touch and care that is critical to our success.”
While ASU’s reputation abroad continues to strengthen, the university’s footprint across the U.S. also continues to grow, with initiatives such as ASU in Hawaii leading to more and more awareness of ASU in states like Hawaii over the years.
(Note: ASU is closely monitoring the impact of the wildfires in Hawaii and has reached out to all currently enrolled students from Hawaii to offer resources and support. If you are an ASU student in need any additional support, please contact email@example.com.)
Isaiah Crabbe — a Native Hawaiian undergraduate from Honolulu — attributes his dream of flying as one of many reasons why he landed at ASU. He will pursue a degree in aeronautical management technology at ASU’s Polytechnic campus, and he said he chose ASU for several reasons, including the opportunity to strike out on his own.
“In Hawaii, everybody knows everybody,” said Crabbe, who graduated from Kamehameha Schools-Kapālama campus with a 4.3 GPA. “… At ASU, I have to figure out how to do things on my own, and that makes me a little excited and scared, but I’m very happy about this experience.”
Crabbe had his pick of colleges to attend. He was drawn to all that ASU offered.
“I visited a few other smaller campuses, and it seemed like their whole world existed right there on campus and they missed out on a lot of other things,” Crabbe said. “I want the big, full college experience where I can go and watch Division I sports and attend all those events. ASU has the best of both worlds.”
Crabbe has wanted to fly planes ever since he was a kid. His brother Noah, eight years his senior, flew planes in the Air Force.
“Watching him fly really inspired me,” said Crabbe, who will participate in ASU’s Army ROTC during his four years of college. “So, I went out and pursued that for myself.”
ASU’s support for and celebration of military-connected students has led to year-over-year increases in enrollment of veterans, dependents of veterans and active-duty service members, earning gold status as a 2023-2024 Military Friendly Schools.
In total, ASU will enroll over 13,700 military-connected students, a university record, of which nearly 70% are online students. And the university continues to encourage spouses of military veterans to enroll in an on-campus or online degree tuition-free thanks to the Spouses of Military Veterans Scholarship, which is available to qualified Arizona residents.
As the university begins a new academic year, it looks ahead to the impact ASU students will make on the university community and the new academic opportunities it is building for current and future students, including the future launch of a new medical school; internship and career opportunities in partnership with new, Valley-based global employers like TSMC; and expanded degrees offered on the West and Polytechnic campuses, among others.
“It is exciting to see a record number of new students of different ages and experiences choosing Arizona State University as the best place to advance their learning journeys and their lives,” ASU President Michael M. Crow said. “ASU is designed to offer learning and living environments that empower students to thrive, and welcoming so many learners with diverse interests and backgrounds tells us that we are making meaningful progress in providing world-class education at scale.”
The fall semester kicks off with a Welcome Week designed to build community among new and returning students. Below are the signature events, but there are scores more for on-campus and ASU Online students alike, from magic shows to online Wordle competitions to “Find My Classes” tours. For a comprehensive list, visit the Welcome Events website.
An Evening With Janelle Monáe: Fall Welcome Speaker
Monday, Aug. 14
8–9 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.)
Desert Financial Arena, Tempe campus
With localized experiences at Downtown Phoenix, Polytechnic and West campuses
Come out for an evening of conversation with our Fall Welcome Speaker Janelle Monáe, a singer, songwriter, rapper and award-winning actress. The event will take place live in Desert Financial Arena on the Tempe campus, and students at Downtown Phoenix, Polytechnic and West campuses will be able to engage with the speaker through live viewing experiences. There will also be health and wellness activities at each location before or after the event.
Culture Kick Off Carnival
Tuesday, Aug. 15
Memorial Union North Stage and Cady Mall, Tempe campus
Students can enjoy free food and live performances, win some Sun Devil swag and connect with members of ASU’s eight student-led, identity-based coalitions and the Multicultural Communities of Excellence team during this fun exploration of the university’s diverse culture.
Sun Devil Welcome and InfernoFest
Tuesday, Aug. 15
Sun Devil Welcome (for first-year students): 8 p.m. (doors open at 7:30 p.m.); all ASU students are invited to Infernofest, with doors opening at 8:45 p.m.
Mountain America Stadium, Tempe campus
After the Sun Devil Welcome pep rally for first-year students featuring Sparky, Sun Devil Athletics, the marching band and more, Infernofest welcomes hip-hop artist Ferg to the stage for a free concert for all ASU students.
Sparky’s Day of Service
Monday, Aug. 14, to Wednesday, Aug. 16
Location and times vary by campus
New students can unite with like-minded Sun Devils to create their footprint in the ASU community through leadership and service. Through the Sparky’s Day of Service activities, students will learn how to make an impact, how to make the most of their strengths and how to get involved.
Wednesday, Aug. 16, and Thursday, Aug. 17
- Downtown Phoenix campus: Wednesday, Aug. 16, 4–7 p.m.
- Polytechnic campus (Club Hub): Thursday, Aug. 17, 5–7 p.m.
- Tempe campus (Passport to ASU): Wednesday, Aug. 16, 4–7 p.m.
- West campus: Wednesday, Aug. 16, 5–7 p.m.
Students can explore opportunities with student organizations and clubs and begin connecting with the communities that share their interests and passions. Those unable to attend can also visit ASU's Sun Devil Sync portal to find student groups they may want to join.
Transfer and Commuter Student Welcome Events
Wednesday, Aug. 16, to Tuesday, Aug. 22
Various locations, all four campuses
At these specialized events just for transfer and commuter students, there will be opportunities to connect with fellow Sun Devils, learn about campus resources and build community at ASU.
Echo From the Buttes
Saturday, Aug. 19, 8–10 a.m.
"A" Mountain (College Avenue and Fifth Street), Tempe
This annual tradition for all new students beginning their journey at ASU involves a hike up “A” Mountain, where participants then paint the giant “A” white to symbolize a fresh start and new beginning within the Sun Devil community.
Fraternity and Sorority Life Welcome Back Block Party
Sunday, Aug. 20, 6-9 p.m.
ASU Greek Leadership Village
The celebration is an opportunity to meet fellow students at the Greek Leadership Village and Greek Leadership Community Center. Interested students can explore Fraternity and Sorority Life organizations and get questions answered about how to join.
*ASU continues to enroll students for the fall 2023 semester, including online students who enroll in Fall B 2023 session. Final enrollment numbers will not be available until after the 21st day of class.
Top photo: A group of international students who had just arrived a day prior take a stroll around the Tempe campus Aug. 11 after the International Welcome event. They are (from left): Dmytro Hrybyniuk from Ukraine, studying computer science (software engineering); Gayathri Kota from India, studying computer science with a minor in data science; Mykyta Zaikov from Ukraine, studying business (global logistics management); Sofiia Mazurenko from Ukraine, studying microbiology (medical microbiology); Dmytro Sychykov from Ukraine, studying computer science; Bhavya Vemareddy from India, studying business data analytics. Photo by Armand Saavedra/ASU