The California State University announced July 29 that all campuses will begin accepting applications for admission to the spring 2011 term. But enrollment still depends upon funding and the state budget for the CSU.
For now, until Aug. 31, campuses are conditionally accepting applications. They will not know how many students can or will be accepted into the schools until a budget is adopted, so no offers of admission will be sent until then.
“Despite the uncertainty regarding state support for the 2010-2011 academic year, we will move forward with the application process for spring 2011,” CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed said in a press release.
CSUMentor.edu, the Web site used to apply to schools within the CSU system, displays a note describing the conditional process. If a budget allowing funding to increase CSU enrollment is passed, campuses will finalize their reviews of applications as normal. If the budget does not provide for additional funding, students will have the option of deferring their applications to fall 2011 or withdrawing them completely.
CSULB has this same disclaimer on its Web site under spring 2011 admissions deadlines for returning transfer and upper-division transfer students.
Essentially, CSU gave its 23 campuses the go-ahead to begin reviewing applications so that in the case a budget is passed soon, qualified students will already be en route to acceptance into the universities.
“The passing of the budget in a timely manner and the restoration of funding proposed by the governor will allow us to serve those students and provide immediate access for students already in the admissions pipeline,” Reed said.
However, campuses may have to hold applications if the budget is not passed shortly.
“The CSU sustained a $625 million cut last year,” David Dowell, vice provost at CSULB, said. “If the state were to restore $365 million of that cut as proposed in the governor’s budget, the CSU could enroll as many as 29,000 new students, mainly community college transfer students in the spring of 2011. CSULB would enroll as many as about 2600.”
The budget cuts resulted in campus-wide furlough days and increased tuition. The CSU enrolls more than 35,000 new students during spring semesters and approximately $60 million of the restored amount would be for enrollment expansion.
“Even the most optimistic budget scenario that we have seen does not fully restore enrollment to the CSU or to CSULB,” Dowell said. “This is true despite the fact that we have record applications for admission, over 70,000 to CSULB alone this fall.”
Vice Provost Dowell also said that the key factor in this situation is timing.
“The later the budget is resolved, the harder it is for campuses to process applications, plan classes and enroll students for spring,” Dowell said.
Even with the uncertainty of acceptance for the spring term, the CSU recommends that applicants verify how each campus is handling its admissions; some majors are not available and freshmen applications are not accepted during spring at most campuses.
CSULB, which has been closed during spring since 2009, plans to remain open to teacher credential graduates for spring 2011. CSULA is currently not accepting any applications for the spring 2011 term.