Two young women walking across a college campus talking with one another.
Press Release Enrollment

California State University Enrollment Reaches All-Time High



Two young women walking across a college campus talking with one another.
​​​​The California State University (CSU) enrolled its largest-ever student body for the fall 2020 term, CSU officials announced today. The 23 campuses of the university collectively enrolled 485,549 students, surpassing the previous enrollment high of 484,297 in fall 2017 and more than 3,600 students greater than fall 2019 (481,929).

“The record enrollment of 485,549 students reflects the confidence that state residents have in the California State University,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. “I commend the creativity and hard work of our faculty and staff who implemented innovative ways to carry on our tradition of inclusive academic excellence, despite the current pandemic and necessary transition to virtual instruction. Their efforts enabled us to welcome our new students and to connect and engage with all students like never before.” 

While CSU campuses graduated a record number of students in conferring 128,925 degrees last year, an all-time high retention rate of 85.5 percent for first-year students contributed significantly to the enrollment gains. “The enrollment numbers this year clearly reflect the resilience and determination of our students in staying the course to earn a CSU degree. I commend and am proud of our students who inspire me and provide hope for a better future,” White noted. 

Several campuses saw record-high enrollments including Fresno State, Sacramento State and CSU Bakersfield.

The CSU’s increased enrollment counters the recent national trend for institutions of higher education. According to data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center​, undergraduate enrollment is down 4 percent across the country, including a decrease of 1.4 percent at public four-year colleges. 

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​About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 53,000 faculty and staff and 486,000 students. Half of the CSU's students transfer from California community colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity, and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards nearly 129,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.8 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.​​​​