The CSU aims for bold increases in enrollment to meet student demand for a CSU education and the needs of California’s future workforce. The CSU plans to increase resident enrollment by 18,707 full-time equivalent students (FTES). Using the marginal cost rate, which is the cost of education per new FTES, the funding required to support 18,707 new FTES in 2020-21 is $248.6 million.
Increased funding for enrollment means increased capacity to educate students without sacrificing quality. Through Graduation Initiative 2025, we have hired hundreds more faculty, offered thousands more course sections, increased the average unit load per student and awarded more bachelor’s degrees annually. Accommodating increased enrollment happens through face-to-face instruction and a growing number of sections offered in fully online and hybrid courses. The CSU continues to serve students in a variety of online courses and programs as part of the overall enrollment growth strategy.
The CSU has implemented a redirection policy that began in the fall 2019 application cycle to admit all first-time and transfer applicants who meet minimum CSU eligibility requirements to at least one CSU campus. The redirection policy provides CSU-eligible undergraduate applicants who are waitlisted or denied admission because of campus or program impaction, an opportunity to be redirected to and admitted by a nonimpacted campus. This aligns with the admissions guarantee in place for transfer applicants who have an Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT). This policy change, coupled with additional enrollment funding, could result in significantly more first-time and transfer students enrolled at the CSU in the 2020-21 academic year. While the 1965 Master Plan recommended that the CSU accept the top 33 percent of high school graduates, the number of CSU-eligible high school students is 41 percent, according to a study commissioned by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research.
The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) projects that the state will continue to need greater numbers of highly educated workers. Over the next 10 years, if current trends persist, 38 percent of jobs will require at least a bachelor’s degree but population and education trends suggest that only 33 percent of working-age adults in California will have a bachelor’s degree by 2030. This leaves a gap of 1.1 million college graduates. The CSU will be able to partially meet workforce demand by increasing access and completion outcomes through Graduation Initiative 2025. A funded enrollment increase of 3 percent to 5 percent per year over the next decade is necessary to meet increasing student demand for a CSU education and to meet California’s future workforce needs.