With a third consecutive year of record-breaking enrollment applications, California State University, East Bay is gaining a reputation as a destination university for high school students from the Bay Area and throughout the state, according to Greg Smith, CSUEB associate vice president for Enrollment Development and Management.
The growing demand for enrollment is reflected in a 35 percent increase in the number of first-time freshman applicants for the fall 2010 quarter versus the same 11-week application period (Oct. 1 to Dec. 18) one year earlier. The number of community college transfer applicants for the same period increased by 138 percent.
By Dec. 18, CSUEB had received more than 16,500 applicants – 9,700 from current high school seniors and 6,800 from community college students – seeking to begin their studies at the university in the fall.
“We originally planned to accept applications on a space-available basis well into the New Year, but we easily achieved the number we could accommodate by Dec. 18,” Smith said. “This is a testament to the demand that is out there for a spot at Cal State East Bay.”
The current growth of applicants follows a multi-year trend in which both applications and enrollment have grown steadily. Prior to the recent growth trend, CSUEB had been under-enrolled.
What has changed for Cal State East Bay, according to Smith, is a “dramatically different admissions environment” that has been affected both by increasing regional and statewide awareness of and interest in CSUEB, which has contributed to the increase in applications and enrollment, and now by reduced state funding for the entire 23-campus California State University. Both factors could impact the university’s student profile” well into the future, according to Smith.
Because of state budget cuts, the CSU Chancellor’s Office has asked all campuses to limit enrollment. CSUEB administrators are working to reduce current enrollment levels by closely monitoring retention and graduation rates balanced with the admission of qualified new students.
“Because we have gained momentum in recruiting and enrolling students, the challenge is to stabilize that number in such a manner that we have the potential to keep growing when the opportunity presents itself again,” said Linda Dalton, vice president for Planning, Enrollment Management, and Student Affairs. “This presents a challenge, but in many respects, we’re in a much better situation than many sister campuses that have exceeded their CSU enrollment targets for several years.”
The university continues to accept applications from graduate students, with more than 900 applications already submitted. Cal State East Bay also is accepting applications from international students on a space-available basis and from prospective students seeking to study through the learning programs offered by the CSUEB Division of Continuing and International Education.
Smith indicated that CSUEB admissions officers are focusing on the academic profile and preparedness of the entering class to ensure that all students fully meet CSU admission standards.
“Current students remain a top priority, and we want to make sure that they are able to enroll in the classes they need to graduate,” Smith said.