More Students Apply to College Online and do it Earlier

CSU receives 110,000 more online applications this year

(Dec. 22, 2003) —College-bound students filed 343,429 online applications to the California State University, between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30, 2003, a 47.6 percent increase over online applications received during the same period last year. The increase follows a seven-year trend of snowballing growth for online applications to the CSU.

This year’s increase was attributed in part to students’ positive response to key messages sent by the CSU upon receiving news of state budget cuts. The messages, “apply no later than Nov. 30, and apply online,” were communicated through school counselors, the news media, and the non-English speaking news media.

The CSU strongly recommended students to apply early after it was forced to limit the number of students it will admit in 2004 to adjust to more than $300 million in budget cuts imposed by the state on the CSU’s 2003-04 budget.

Last week the CSU was hit with an additional cut of $23.7 million as a result of a mid-year cut implemented by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, which will reduce next year’s enrollment growth by an additional 4,000 students.

Students interested in attending impacted campuses usually are required to apply during the priority application period of Oct. 1 to Nov. 30. This year, the same deadline was recommended to students who want to make sure they get accepted at the campus of their choice and to students who do not want to risk being left out because of enrollment limits.

Students filed more than 6,500 online applications through CSUMentor on the first day of the application filing period --October 1. CSUMentor is a web-based system that helps students plan and apply to the CSU online, and has experienced soaring popularity since it was first introduced in 1996.

On Nov 30, the last day of the priority application period, students filed 38,000 online applications, with more than 14,000 arriving the last day, during the hours of 8 p.m. to midnight.

“Students clearly responded to our message encouraging them to apply early and to apply online, and CSUMentor continues to work smoothly for them," said Allison Jones, the CSU's assistant vice chancellor for student academic support. "During this period of heavy enrollment demand, both students and campus staff appreciate the convenience and flexibility of CSUMentor and the online application process.”

Now that the initial application window has closed, CSU’s non-impacted campuses will continue accepting application on a space-available basis. To see a complete campus-by-campus list of application status for fall 2004 go to and select “Undergraduate” and “Fall 2004” from the pull-down menus.)

The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 409,000 students and 44,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded about 2 million degrees. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. Its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. See

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Last Updated: December 22, 2003

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