Campus: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo -- June 29, 2000

Cal Poly Leads U.S. in Number of Electronic Applications

While the nation's colleges and universities are beginning to move toward a universal online admission process, Cal Poly continues to lead the country in the number and percentage of electronic applications it receives, according to James Maraviglia, executive director of admissions and recruitment.

"Since we implemented our first electronic application for admission in 1993, we have seen our overall applicant pool -- electronic and paper -- increase by 77 percent, with steady increases not only in the quality of the applicant pool, but also the overall social, economic and geographic diversity of these pools," Maraviglia said.

"The electronic application process has played a major part in these increases," he said.

Cal Poly received 82 percent of its 20,797 fall 2000 and 87 percent of its 1,977 summer 2000 applications on line. They came through CSUMentor, the software program used by the entire 23-campus California State University system (saving the CSU about $3.5 million since 1997).

The single CSU-wide online admissions system provides outreach, pre-admission, admission and financial aid application services.

CSUMentor includes academic portfolios to help advise high school and community college students in selecting the right courses, multimedia campus tours, student-campus matching assistance, free e-mail accounts, help in completing financial aid forms, an academic planner for high school and community college transfer students, and information to help graduate students select campuses and programs suited to their specific needs.

"CSUMentor is exactly what the students we survey each year told us they were looking for," Maraviglia said. "We are thrilled to see it work so well.

"We processed more than 80,000 electronic applications in the last seven years," he said, "and we anticipate 90 percent of our applications to be filed electronically next year and 100 percent to be filed online in the near future.

"Students today have grown up with technology. They're totally in tune with technology. They've been playing video games since they were four or five years old," Maraviglia added.

Maraviglia said Cal Poly has been and continues to be at the forefront of the automated admission process.

"It's nice to see the CSU leading the nation with this effort," he said.

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