More than 100,000 apply to study at ASU in 2015

ASU's Palm Walk Students Arizona State University

As ASU’s reputation grows around the country and the world, more and more students are applying to be Sun Devils. More than 100,000 students have applied to start undergraduate and graduate programs at ASU in 2015.
Photo by: Charlie Leight/ASU News

Chase Turner had options.

The high school senior earned a GPA of 3.9 at his Redding, Calif., school, was the quarterback of the football team and served on the student government. Offers from universities in California, Nevada and Tucson had rolled in.

But as he sat down to consider his acceptance letters, Turner realized that deciding which school to attend was not going to be difficult.

“There was something about ASU that kept drawing me back,” said Turner, 17, who found himself daydreaming about the university after his first campus tour. “I wanted to see more; I wanted to explore more.”

Turner, who has already put an ASU wallpaper on his phone, will start as a freshman in film studies this fall.

Over the past several weeks, millions of students like Turner have been making their college decisions, leading up to the unofficial national decision day May 1.

ASU encourages, but does not require, students to make their decision by May 1. But even with more data still to come, the number of applications to ASU this year is trending up: More than 100,000 students have applied to start undergraduate and graduate programs at ASU in 2015.

“We’re seeing a huge interest in ASU from all around the country and the world,” said Kent Hopkins, vice provost of enrollment services. “The prestige of ASU and the message of the New American University is striking a chord with prospective students from all walks of life.”

More of the students who apply are choosing to attend ASU. Based on the number of people who have already committed to join Turner in the undergraduate class of 2019, the university is on track to enroll nearly 11,000 freshmen this fall, up nearly 20 percent in just three years.

And interest in ASU outside of Arizona continues to grow as well. Applications from out-of-state students are up 37 percent since 2012.

Turner has been awarded a Provost’s Scholarship to attend ASU, one of the university’s honors for top students. The number of high-achieving students applying to ASU is also increasing, up 13 percent since 2012. 

Part of the increase is the result of a concerted effort by the university to reach out to students throughout the country.

“We have representatives in Dallas, Denver, Chicago, Seattle, several cities in California and in Washington, D.C.,” said David Burge, the executive director of admissions services. “The reputation of ASU is on the rise nationally, and as a result we’re attracting students from parts of the country we did not previously reach."

Interest in ASU from overseas is also substantial. ASU currently has about 8,800 international students enrolled, some 3,200 of whom are from China.

The vast majority of programs at ASU do not have caps on the number of people who can enroll. As part of the university’s commitment to offering an accessible education to anyone who meets the admissions requirements, if someone wants to attend ASU, he or she can.

And for students who are on the fence, they can reach out to Chase Turner.

He is so excited about attending ASU, he has already taken on the role of an unofficial ambassador. This week he spent several hours persuading one of his friends from nearby Cottonwood, Calif., to come to Tempe too.

“I talked his ear off about how great ASU is,” said Turner, “and just how amazing everything about the school is.”

Turner’s friend had likely already sensed his enthusiasm. When he got back from a recent orientation visit, Turner said his anticipation was palpable.

“It just really seemed like the place for me,” he said. “Deep down in my heart. All of my friends, they all knew that ASU is where my heart is.”