CSU Facts 2007

Student walking at a campus


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 2006, 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 (7 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 (11 percent).

New undergraduate transfers came largely from the California Community Colleges (86 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 (51 percent), followed by the University of California (16 percent), private institutions (7 percent) and out of state (15 percent), with the remainder from foreign or unknown sources.

Student Profile
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 in the first generation in their family to attend college.

Giving Back To Communities

  • More than 1.2 million CSU students have engaged in a range of community service learning activities since 1999. Their contributions form a minimum wage equivalent of more than $1.3 billion.
  • In 2005-06, a quarter 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.

More information about CSU Community Service Learning »

The CSU has more than 2 million alumni, exceeding the populations of every California city except Los Angeles. More than 200 alumni, including 37 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 Yvonne Cagle, NASA astronaut; Art Linkletter, entertainer; Kent Nagano, Grammy award-winning conductor; Ken Fisher, financial writer and CEO, Fisher Investments; Tony Gwynn, baseball hall-of-famer; Edward James Olmos, actor and filmmaker; Brad Seligman, civil rights attorney; Ray Dolby, founder of Dolby Sound; Amy Tan, author; Lt. General Michael Hamel, commander, Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center; Laurie MacDonald, Dreamworks executive producer; and Gordon Moore, founder of Intel Corp.

Content Contact:
Office of Public Affairs
Technical Contact:

Last Updated: June 07, 2007