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CSU Named as Winner of The Great Admissions Redesign Challenge


California State University among just seven selected by Lumina Foundation in national competition to transform how students get into college.

Students gathered together to take a picture on campus.

The California State University (CSU) is one of seven winners of The Great Admissions Redesign, a competition by Lumina Foundation to revolutionize the admissions process and increase accessibility to higher education for all students. The CSU will use the $750,000 award to automate admissions to the CSU system through California's official K-12 college and career readiness platform.

“Lumina is thrilled by the number of outstanding applicants committed to revisioning the college admission process," said Melanie Heath, strategy director for Lumina. “As a winner of The Great Admissions Redesign, the CSU exemplifies leadership in streamlining procedures and promoting inclusivity, ensuring all students have equitable opportunities to pursue their educational goals."

Through The Great Admissions Redesign, Lumina is awarding $3.1 million in implementation and planning grants to the seven winners. More than 70 applications were reviewed in a rigorous selection process and using criteria including a commitment to ensuring fair and just outcomes for underrepresented students, simplicity and innovation.

With the grant funding, the CSU will partner with the California College Guidance Initiative (CCGI) to expand outreach and support to students in high school through, the State of California's official college and career planning platform. Guidance and support communications will be sent to 9th through 11th grade students. Qualified 12th grade students will be offered admission to most of the Cal State universities and the opportunity to apply to more competitive universities and impacted majors. The partnership will also include the electronic delivery of final high school transcripts.

The CSU will also be expanding its Cal State Apply online application for admission to provide automatic admissions to most CSU campuses for high school seniors who have completed their application or are in the process of completing an application.

“The CSU is the engine of opportunity to a quality education that leads to a successful career, and we are grateful to the Lumina Foundation in helping us advance our outreach to prospective students across California," said April Grommo, assistant vice chancellor of Strategic Enrollment Management. “This generous award will advance strategies and partnerships including the California College Guidance Initiative to ensure more students are academically prepared to meet CSU admission requirements and go on to earn a CSU degree."

Additional grant recipients include the Illinois Board of Higher Education, and Northern Arizona University (all Implementation Grants); as well as the Louisiana Board of Regents, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Washington Student Achievement Council and Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (all Planning Grants).

About the California State University 

The California State University is the nation's largest four-year public university system, providing transformational opportunities for upward mobility to more than 450,000 students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. More than half of CSU students are people of color, and nearly one-third of them are first-generation college students. Because the CSU's 23 universities provide a high-quality education at an incredible value, they are rated among the best in the nation for promoting social mobility in national college rankings from U.S. News & World Report, the Wall Street Journal and Washington Monthly. The CSU powers California and the nation, sending nearly 127,000 career-ready graduates into the workforce each year. In fact, one in every 20 Americans holding a college degree earned it at the CSU. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU newsroom.