Public Affairs


American Council on Education Cites CSUMentor for Cost Management

The California State University was one of six institutions nationwide to receive an American Council on Education Academic Excellence and Cost Management Award today (Monday, June 12) for its implementation of CSUMentor, the online system that helps students and their families plan and apply for financial aid and admission to the CSU.

CSUMentor has saved the CSU about $3.5 million since it was implemented in November 1997 by providing a single systemwide online admissions system. It provides outreach, pre-admission, admission and financial aid application services, which saves the campuses the cost of providing their own individual systems. In addition, it saved California high schools and community colleges more than $640,000 because they no longer needed to purchase specialized hardware and software to provide CSU campus search networks for their students since CSUMentor can be accessed from anywhere at anytime at no cost.

Meanwhile, usage has grown tremendously. The number of online applications tripled this year to more than 150,000, and visits to the site nearly doubled to 3.5 million. More than 50 percent of CSU applications are now received online.

"We are very pleased that ACE selected CSUMentor for this award. The CSU is always looking for ways to use its resources more efficiently. The most important benefits are intangible - improvement in the quality of service for students and student satisfaction. CSUMentor has simplified the admission process for students," said Allison Jones, CSU assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs, who accepted the award at a symposium in Washington, D.C. "CSUMentor is very popular with students. Other institutions throughout the world are recognizing its popularity and following the CSU lead."

CSUMentor includes: academic portfolios that help students make sure they are taking the right courses in high school or at a community college; multimedia campus tours; student-campus matching assistance; free e-mail accounts; assistance in completing the primary financial aid form for college-bound students; an academic planner both for high school students and community colleges transfer students; and information to help graduate students select campuses and programs suited to their needs.

In addition, CSUMentor added the following new features this year:

The site is accessible at and was designed by XAP Corporation, Los Angeles.

ACE and the USA Group Foundation established the awards program last year to recognize, reward, and give greater visibility to innovative strategies at colleges and universities that strengthen academic quality while containing costs. The recipients were selected from 120 entries and will be highlighted in a publication of effective practices that will be available later this year to colleges, universities and the news media.

The awards program is spearheaded by ACE with collaboration from the American Association of Community Colleges, Association of American Universities, Council on Independent Colleges, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges. It is part of the College Is Possible campaign.

June 9, 2000