Students stroll between classes along the Hayward campus' Meiklejohn Walkway.
A record-breaking freshman class enrolled for fall quarter at California State University, East Bay, which has seen a 31 percent rise in first-time freshmen since fall 2007. The jump in freshmen enrollment contributed to overall enrollment growth of 8 percent (1,061 additional students). Enrollment at the university is 14,185, an all-time high.
"In the last couple years we've been much more assertive about getting the word out about Cal State East Bay," said Greg Smith, associate vice president for Planning and Enrollment Management. "We say it's the best of both worlds -- the feel of a small liberal arts college with the resources of a major California State University."
In addition to increasing recruitment activity around the East Bay and in the central and southern portions of the state, Smith said, changes to the Hayward hills campus contributed to the boost in enrollment.
In October, for instance, CSUEB opened a 20,000-square-foot dining commons, equipped to seat approximately 500 diners. During fall quarter, the university responded to increased demand for student housing by adding 472 beds to bring the total at the Pioneer Heights student apartments to 1,292.
Cal State East Bay, which operates campuses in Hayward and Concord, also recorded enrollment growth for other classes compared with fall 2007. The sophomore class grew by 11 percent, while the junior class expanded by 19 percent. Gains of 3 percent, 2 percent and 1 percent were noted for seniors, post-baccalaureate and graduate students, respectively.
The enrollment growth at CSUEB contributed to an overall increase for the California State University system, which reported a fall enrollment of 437,008. While first-time freshmen application deadlines for several CSU campuses, including San Francisco, San Jose and Sonoma, have passed, Cal State East Bay will accept freshmen applications for fall 2009 until March 1. Cal State East Bay will accept applications from lower-division and upper-division transfer students through Aug. 1.