2008/09 Support Budget

Budgetary Challenges: Additional 1 Percent Student Enrollment Growth, $27.5 million

The Compact calls for 2.5 percent annual enrollment growth at the CSU through the 2010/11 fiscal year. Since 2005/06, the CSU has absorbed the cost of over-target enrollment by “borrowing” against future budget year funds. CSU student enrollment has exceeded funded enrollment over the past few years, a trend that is expected to continue exponentially through 2008/09. However, CSU enrollment projections for 2007/08 and 2008/09 show significant increases in student growth that can no longer be absorbed by the university. Student enrollment projections for 2008/09 are expected to exceed targeted budgets by at least 1 percent. The university cannot absorb costs associated with this over-target enrollment growth without impacting student access and the availability of courses. The chart below identifies over-target enrollment growth from 2005/06 through 2008/09. Data for 2005/06 and 2006/07 represent actual over-target enrollment growth.

FTES Target Over Actual

Student Enrollment Growth

  2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09
Target Enrollment 325,545 334,198 342,893 351,465
Over Target 2,565 6,196 10,000 N/A
Additional Enrollment N/A N/A N/A 3,429

Since 2005/06, the CSU has absorbed the cost of over-target enrollment by utilizing one-time resources, increasing class size when possible, and temporarily opening more course sections to accommodate the demand for student access. The over-target enrollment funding request of $27.5 million for 2008/09 would fund an additional 3,429 Full-Time Equivalent Students (FTES) based on a marginal cost rate of $8,029 per FTES. This assumes a conservative enrollment growth rate of 3.5 percent, of which 2.5 percent is funded under the Compact. If the requested funds are not approved, future CSU students will be impacted in three primary areas: 1) denial of student access, 2) inability to obtain course selections, and/or 3) potential loss of student financial aid.

The CSU is unable to continue over-enrolling students and will begin to modify campus enrollment practices beginning in the 2008/09 academic year if additional funding for enrollment growth is not provided by the state. This means that students will have to seek alternative educational opportunities at a time when the CSU is addressing California’s most pressing workforce needs. Students who are denied access to the CSU can seek alternative educational opportunities at the community colleges or private universities. However, in cases where students cannot afford to attend another university, their higher education plans may be deferred or cancelled.

The anticipated outcome from this BCP is to continue to meet the demand for access to the California State University without having to increase class size, or time to degree for our students. The $27.5 million request will begin to address the current over-enrollment trends and not only ensure access to a quality education in the CSU, but timely progress to degree where students are able to obtain the course sections they need, when they need them. In addition, by expanding the number of course sections offered on campuses, the CSU will be able to ensure that eligible students will receive their full state and federal financial aid to stay in college and achieve their degree. Finally, meeting the demand for student access will support the CSU’s continuing efforts to meet California’s growing workforce needs for K-12 teachers, nurses, engineers, and other high-need industries in the state’s workforce.


Content Contact:
Kara Perkins
(562) 951-4560
Technical Contact:

Last Updated: November 13, 2007