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CSU Faces Unprecedented Demand, Limited Space

Applications and admits continue to rise despite efforts to control enrollment

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(May 21, 2012) - The California State University today released preliminary systemwide data for the upcoming fall term indicating all-time highs in applications, and a year-over-year increase in the number of students admitted. 

During fall 2011, the CSU welcomed 95,000 new undergraduates while denying access to almost 22,000 qualified applicants because of reductions in state support totaling nearly $1 billion.

"The CSU is caught between a huge demand to attend our universities and a state that simply is not providing adequate funding for these students," said Eric Forbes, CSU assistant vice chancellor, student academic support.  "We are facing a tipping point in terms of the promise of access that is at the heart of the CSU mission."

As of May, CSU systemwide applications and admissions for fall 2012 – with fall 2011 figures in parentheses – are as follows:

                                                          Applications*              Admitted*      
First Time Freshman – CA Resident      452,647
First Time Freshman – Non-Resident     29,193
First Time Freshman – Total                481,840
Transfer – CA Resident                        185,166
Transfer – Non-Resident                      15,295
Transfer – Total                                  200,461
Totals below reflect undergraduate in addition to post-baccalaureate and graduate applications.
Total Applications                               742,839 (707,483)
Total Admitted                  349,944 (348,781)

*The applications totals include multiple applications from a single applicant, while the admitted totals can reflect a single student being admitted to multiple campuses.

The CSU expects to enroll approximately 25 percent of the resident first-time freshmen admitted (56,000) and roughly 50 percent of the resident transfer students admitted (50,000).  The CSU estimates that 95 percent of the enrolling freshman class and 94 percent of enrolling undergraduate transfer students will be California residents. 

CSU campuses continue to review and admit additional students as the current academic year comes to a close and transcripts are received.

For fall 2011 and fall 2012, the CSU actually admitted more qualified students than in the fall 2010 term.  However, the growth follows two years of steep enrollment declines due to budget cuts.  In fall 2010, the CSU admitted 196,109 first-time freshmen, the lowest total since 2005.  This fall's admitted first-time freshmen total of 238,165 is limited by a $750 million cut in state support for the CSU in 2011-2012.

The CSU is discussing numerous contingencies surrounding a $250 million potential trigger cut included in the governor's May budget proposal for 2012-2013 if his tax measure is not approved by voters this fall.  That trigger would reduce CSU's state funding to historically low levels, last seen in the 1990s, despite serving many more students.

Starting in the spring 2013 term, CSU will reduce enrollment to match available funding.  Admission of new students for that term will be limited primarily to those who have received an associate degree for transfer from a California Community College.  Other students may apply and be admitted under specific exceptions (e.g. veterans, some nursing program applicants and some teacher credentialing applicants). 

For the fall 2013 term, the CSU will waitlist all students applying for admission pending the approval or rejection of the tax measure – with a rejection and the subsequent $250 million budget cut leading to the possibility of further reductions in enrollment.  Admissions notifications for fall 2013 will be sent only after the fate of the tax measure and subsequent impacts on enrollment are known.


About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 427,000 students and 44,000 faculty and staff. The CSU awards about 99,000 degrees annually and since its creation in 1961 has conferred nearly 2.6 million. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. The mission of the CSU 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. Connect with and learn more about the CSU at CSU Social Media.