California colleges restrict admissions to select

November 19, 2008

Is your student thinking of going to a California State University college like San Jose State, San Diego State, Cal State Long Beach or Fullerton.

Traditionally it has been more difficult to be admitted to the UC schools such as UCLA, UC Berkley and UC Sand Diego. Now it may be more dificult for your student to get in to the CSU schools as well. Budget crunches are on the top of their lists.

What is the difference between a UC and a CSU college?
UCs programs are more research and theory-oriented. Students study how and why things happen. For example, in a teacher education program, students would study how people learn and various theories of teaching methodologies. While on the flip side, the CSU’s will be more hands-on and teach more practical approaches. A teacher education program at a CSU may focus more on specific teaching methods and lesson plans. UC schools also tend to be much bigger in population. CSU schools have fewer masters programs.

Which school is right for your student? That would be based on a variety of criteria such as intended career and major, amenities and programs to name a few. 

Here is the reader digest version  of the article printed in the Fresno Bee.

Officials are meeting and are considering giving priority to hopeful students who live within a certain radius of the college. These students would have first picks of being admitted. Students in other counties could be put on a waitlist.

State and college officials to meet CSU might restrict admissions
New students would get priority at closest campus
By Doug Hoagland / The Fresno Bee 11/17/08

California State University officials are considering a plan that would give new students priority for admission at a nearby campus -- but make it tougher for them to attend elsewhere in the state.
The idea, to be discussed this week by the university's trustees in Long Beach, would help CSU cope with state budget problems that threaten to turn away qualified students for the first time in the system's 47-year history.

But it also could frustrate students who hope to leave the Valley to attend a campus on the coast or in a bigger metro area. And campuses, including Fresno State, could have a harder time drawing students from outside their region.

Under the proposal by CSU Chancellor Charles Reed, freshmen applying for admission next fall to most CSU campuses who live in the school's region would be granted admission if they meet all requirements. Fresno State's region is defined as Fresno, Tulare, Kings and Madera counties.

But those outside the region might be put on a waiting list and denied admission -- even if they meet all requirements.

"It's kind of overwhelming," said Robert Johnson, a 17-year-old senior at Fresno's Sunnyside High who is applying to San Jose State and Cal State Monterey Bay. "It gives you the feeling of, 'What are we doing to do now?' "

Fresno State President John Welty wouldn't say what the plan would mean for the campus.

Chancellor says CSU needs more money

Reed made the proposal because system enrollment has grown about 2.5% a year, but state funding hasn't changed since 2007 and isn't expected to change through 2010, officials said.

The imbalance cannot continue, Reed said Monday as he urged state officials to give CSU more money. He was supported by Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, a CSU trustee.

"The higher education system is the fuel for California's economic growth," Garamendi said. "It has been for more than three generations. And it is today. ... We are rapidly running out of fuel."

CSU's enrollment is about 460,000, and Reed said his proposal would reduce it by about 10,000 across the 23-campus system for the fall of 2009 -- while offering qualified students admission to at least their local CSU campus.

The proposal would keep some campuses enrollments stable and reduce others slightly, allowing CSU to ride out the system's money problems, officials said.

CSU has faced budget cuts this year -- $31 million this fall, with Fresno State imposing a hiring freeze, not buying technology and taking other money-saving steps to deal with its $1.7 million share of the cut. Now Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants an additional $66 million from CSU to help close an $11 billion state deficit.

The state's community college system and the University of California also face funding and budget problems, but neither plans to consider applicants' hometowns in the admissions process, spokesmen said.

Under Reed's proposal, students now enrolled at CSU campuses would be able to return next year regardless of hometown. Campuses could consider the "special competence" of athletes, musicians, artists and acting students and give them "additional consideration," he said.

Most CSU schools would keep taking all qualified freshmen and community college transfer students -- who will need 60 or more units -- from their region.

Qualified freshmen from the four Valley counties applying to Fresno State before Feb. 1 would be admitted -- as they are now, said Bernie Vinovrski, associate vice president for enrollment services at Fresno State.

But under Reed's proposal, freshmen from outside the four counties would be put on a waiting list and later considered for remaining spaces in the freshman class.

Wait-listed students would be judged on grades, and those with higher grade-point averages would have a better chance of getting in, CSU spokeswoman Clara Potes-Fellow said.

Some on the list might be turned away as freshmen slots are filled by higher-achieving students. Others might not want to wait out the waiting list and might decide to accept admission at campuses closer to home, Vinovrski said.

A student from Los Angeles, for example, might prefer Fresno State but decide to attend a CSU in Southern California because it's "a sure bet," he said.

Community college students have until April 1 to apply, but they would face the same process.

Some students may feel cheated

Fresno State's student numbers for next fall aren't expected to change much from now -- overall enrollment of almost 23,000 and freshman class size of about 2,800.

About 2,100 Fresno State freshmen this fall were from the four Valley counties, while most of the other 700 came from other regions of California.

Fresno State sophomore Amanda Tang, who is from Elk Grove in Sacramento County, said she would have picked another school had she been on a waiting list.

"Are you going to apply to a school where you might be good enough, but you're not getting in because of something you can't help -- where you live?" Tang said.

She also was accepted at Sacramento State, UC Davis and UC San Diego, but came to Fresno to participate in the Smittcamp Family Honors College.

Several high school seniors said many students would find Reed's proposal unfair.

"After working their backsides off in high school to achieve goals and meet requirements to get into the college of their choice, they'd feel cheated," said Clovis High senior Nate Miller, 18. He is applying to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, which already gets more qualified applicants than it can accept and bases admissions on grades, majors and other factors.

Reed's proposal won't change the admissions process at Cal Poly, said Jim Maraviglia, assistant vice president for admission, recruitment and financial aid. Unlike Fresno State, Cal Poly defines its region as all of California because it meets a statewide goal of training students in the critical areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, Maraviglia said.

Sunnyside High senior Jasmeet Grewal, 17, is applying to Cal Poly Pomona and several colleges, including Fresno State. Fresno State is her backup in case she doesn't get into the other schools.

Said Jasmeet: "I won't be disappointed if I go there, but it would go against what everyone has been saying: 'Get opportunities. Go big.' "



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