Students move through the center of the Hayward campus of Cal State East Bay on Tuesday January 13, 2009 in Hayward, California. A record-breaking freshman enrollment this past fall quarter at Cal State East Bay has the university running a campus with 14,185 students -- an all-time high for the more than 50-year-old campus, officials have announced.
HAYWARD - Cal State East Bay is seeing an all-time high in student enrollment thanks to a record-breaking freshman class that attended the university this past fall quarter, officials have announced.
The university reports it currently has 14,185 students enrolled at all of its campuses, the most it has ever recorded in its more than 50-year history.
"We are becoming really a CSU of choice for more and more people both here in the immediate areas of Alameda and Contra Costa counties and across the state," said Greg Smith, associate vice president for planning and enrollment management at Cal State East Bay. "It's exciting."
Figures from the fall term show 1,400 first-time freshmen enrolled, a 31 percent increase over fall 2007.
And the increasing number of other students choosing Cal State East Bay has helped overall enrollment grow by 8 percent, or an additional 1,061 students from a year ago.
"In the last couple years we've been much more assertive about getting the word out about Cal State East Bay," Smith said.
The university has actively sought to reverse a trend of failing to meet overall enrollment benchmarks - shortfalls that have resulted in the loss of funding.
Officials said Cal State East Bay has been in a "growth mode," and that the current enrollment figures - which they regard as a positive development - come as no surprise.
Freshman applications continue to rise each year and are again on pace to hit enrollment targets next school year, Smith said.
Officials have also boosted recruitment efforts outside the Bay Area, targeting prospective students in the central and southern portions of the state.
One contributing factor in the rise of enrollment, Smith said, is that other overcrowded universities have to turn down qualified students because the growth may not be accompanied by increases in state funding.
Those students are then turning to universities like Cal State East Bay, which are not considered over-enrolled.
Smith also points to campus changes as another factor in growth. Officials have worked on making the university more student-friendly, and have added a 20,000-square-foot dining hall and additional student housing in the past year.
The enrollment jump, however, has gone beyond just first-time freshmen and overall students.
This past quarter's figures - compared with those from fall 2007 - show that the sophomore class grew by 11 percent, while the junior class expanded by 19 percent, officials said.
Furthermore, gains of 3 percent, 2 percent and 1 percent were logged for seniors, post-baccalaureate and graduate students, respectively.
Reach Kristofer Noceda at 510-293-2479 or firstname.lastname@example.org.