Adams State Is The Most Publicly Diverse University in Colorado

Dr. Melissa Freeman hooding Kaylee Gomez
Join us for a learning experience that links education to community, fosters a sense of belonging, and celebrates diverse cultural and social perspectives. Adams State University’s driving purpose is to provide equitable access to education for all. We promote successful and engaged lives by caring for, connecting with, and challenging our students, campus, and community.

We call this The Adams Experience.

Adams State has a long history of diversity and inclusion, and has been an established, respected Hispanic Serving Institution since 1998 (the first HSI in Colorado). We have an institutional commitment to serving and empowering Hispanic students.

Here, HSI is more than just a designation; it’s a continual, energizing mix of intentional actions that enhance the education and experience of all our students. It’s not just a head count. It’s the way our students count — how each person is treated with the same high level of respect, inclusion and service, and how each person has an equal opportunity to grow and advance.

HSI Advisory Committee
Adams State campus north

You’ll Feel Welcomed and Supported

As Colorado’s premier Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), Adams State University draws on its rural location in the San Luis Valley, to serve and empower all students, especially those from historically underserved populations. In keeping with that mission, we’re especially prepared to support First-Gen and low-income students as they navigate the college experience. In fact, 50 percent of our students are the first in their families to attend college.

Whether you commute locally from the San Luis Valley or live on campus, we make a point of helping you find your way, get involved, stay on track, and grow into a proud Adams State Grizzly. Between classes, you’ll find your ‘home-away-from-home’ at CASA, a renovated house on campus where students of all backgrounds gather to study, eat, and socialize in a cozy, supportive environment. If you or your parents are migrant or seasonal farmworkers, our College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) offers financial, academic, and social support as you work toward earning a four-year degree. That means scholarships to help pay for your education and dedicated advisors to guide you.


A Community Where You & Your Family Are Embraced

When you enroll at Adams State, that doesn’t mean leaving your family behind. On the contrary, we welcome families to campus. We want them to feel at home and take part in our community activities. In fact, our ties to the local community are so deep that we often look to family members to share their talents as musicians, cooks, speakers, and more.

Parents & Families

Diverse Institution

Student to Faculty Ratio
First in Family to Attend College
Students of Color
Economic Impact of Adams State University on the San Luis Valley

Student and Alumni "Great Stories"

The Adams State community is filled with students and alumni whose diverse backgrounds are embraced, and who now have a shared goal to grow and advance. Here are some of their stories:

Lindsey Sandoval, Nursing, Class of 2021

“The Campus Feels Like My Second Home”

Growing up in the San Luis Valley, I would go to the grocery store and everybody seemed to look me in the eye and ask how I was doing. I loved that sense of community, and wanted to feel the same kind of friendliness at college. That’s what I received right away at Adams State. No matter what building you walk into, and no matter what you look like, everyone here is willing to help — professors and other students don’t have to know you; they want to know you. The connections I’ve made have been incredibly valuable, and the campus feels like my second home. Today, I’m channeling my passion for people into my nursing studies. My heart is set on helping as many people as I can in life, especially those who are underserved right here in the Valley.

Marisol Cristobal Lucas, Sociology, Graduated in 2019

“Adams State Has the Same Values as My Family”

As early as I can remember,my entire family has emphasized the importance of education. My parents immigrated from Guatemala, and have grown and picked mushrooms since 1993. I would watch them go to work by 4 a.m. and come home late at night. They stressed to me and my brothers the value of hard work and continual learning. At Adams State, I knew those same values would be emphasized and rewarded thanks to my participation in a pre-collegiate program here called Upward Bound, which educates first-generation or low-income students about college life and expectations. My high-school diploma was a milestone, but I wanted to achieve more. My ambition drew me to Adams State, and its affordability and scholarships made it possible. On campus, I felt blessed to be part of a community that made me feel valued, and appreciated resources like great professors, tutors, CAMP and CASA. I graduated in 2019 with a degree in sociology. To me, Adams State is more than just a college; it’s a journey of self-growth.

Diane Arias, Biology, Class of 2020

“Ideal Campus for People of All Backgrounds”

My parents are immigrants from Mexico. As a Hispanic Serving Institution, Adams State really helps students with backgrounds like mine succeed in higher education. I studied biology and chemistry. I conducted research with my professors and learned what it’s like to be a scientist. For one project, we visited all the lakes in the area, collected water samples and tested them. Coming to Adams State is one of the best decisions I’ve made to set myself up professionally.

William Manzanares, Class of 1967

William Manzanares epitomizes the Adams State can-do spirit. A native of San Luis, Colo. Manzanares graduated from Adams State in 1967 and then earned a Master of Science in physics from CU in 1976. He went on to have a 27-year career with the Central Intelligence Agency and earned CIA’s Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, CIA Diversity Champion award, and was twice nominated for CIA Scientist of the Year. During his incredible career, William has visited 46 states, 48 countries and six of the seven continents.