|STUDENTS PAST AND PRESENT
The CSU has a significant impact on the state through the personal contributions
of current students and alumni. Its students largely come from California and remain
in the state, using their increased skills and knowledge to the benefit of California.
Where Do CSU Students Come From?
In fall 2005, more than 97 percent of all enrolled students came from California. More than
one-quarter of those came from Los Angeles County, with large numbers also coming from Orange
(9 percent), San Diego (8 percent) and Santa Clara (6 percent) counties. The CSU draws students
from across the nation to its 23 campuses.
New first-time freshmen came overwhelmingly (85 percent) from California public high schools,
followed by California private high schools (12 percent).
New undergraduate transfers came largely from the California Community Colleges (87 percent),
with about 5 percent each coming from the CSU and from other states.
The majority of new postbaccalaureate and graduate students came from the CSU (52 percent),
followed by the University of California (16 percent), private institutions (8 percent) and out
of state (16 percent), with the remainder from foreign or unknown sources.
CSU students are not necessarily the traditional 18 to 22-year-olds. The most recent survey found that:
- The average undergraduate age is 25.
- Only about one in eight live on campus.
- Only 56 percent are dependent on parents.
- About one in seven are married.
- Nearly one-quarter have dependents.
- Four out of five have jobs, and a quarter work 30 hours or more.
- Nearly 30 percent of the students are the first generation in their family to attend college.
Giving Back to Communities
For more information on CSU service learning, visit
- More than 180,000 CSU students participate in community service learning annually,
donating nearly 30 million hours, the minimum wage equivalent of $200 million.
- In 2004-05, 25 percent of the CSU’s total Federal Work Study funding was designated for
community service placements, well above the national average of 14 percent and more than
triple the minimum requirement.
- Five CSU presidents serve on the boards of national and state organizations that
promote service for college students.
The CSU has 2 million alumni, more than the populations of every California city except Los
Angeles. More than 200 alumni, including 40 legislators, work in the state capitol, while, nationally,
the CSU boasts several CEOs among the Fortune 500 companies.
CSU alumni are the engine of the state’s productivity and key to its future. One in 10 members
of California’s workforce is a CSU graduate, and the majority of the state’s teachers are CSU alumni,
including about half of the California State Teacher of the Year award recipients.
CSU graduates have distinguished themselves in every field, including arts and entertainment,
business, education, journalism, public administration, the sciences, sports, and agriculture. CSU
graduates are the core of California in virtually every field of endeavor.
Among noted CSU alumni are Ralph Rubio, restaurant entrepreneur; Marc Cherry, creator/producer,
Desperate Housewives; John Madden, sports announcer and former pro football coach; Lee Terrell,
civil rights attorney and talk show host; Stephen Bollenbach, CEO, Hilton Hotels; Janice Rogers Brown,
Judge, U. S. Court of Appeals for District of Columbia Circuit; Jeri Taylor, creator, Star Trek
Voyager; John Huerta, general counsel, Smithsonian Institution; Yvonne Cagle, NASA astronaut;
Jack Brown, chairman of the board and CEO, Stater Brothers; Mark Stevens, group president, Fluor
Corporation; and Valerie Morris, news anchor, CNN.