With the Nov. 30 deadline approaching, the admissions office at California State University, Fresno is swamped with record number first-time freshman applications for fall 2010.
Within the first three weeks of accepting applications, Fresno State received 4,236 first-time freshman applications. This is an 80 percent increase from last year, according to Bernard Vinovrski, associate vice president for enrollment services.
Although Fresno State is not accepting new transfer students in January 2010, transfer applications for next fall are up 381 percent, Vinovrski said. This gives Fresno State the highest percentage increase for transfer student applications and the second highest percentage increase for first-time freshman applications in the entire CSU system.
â€œIt defies logic that these huge percentage increases will persist through Nov. 30 in both categories,â€ Vinovrski said. â€œStill the percentage increases are staggering and especially significant for Fresno.â€
Admissions processing specialist, Bernadette Nelson, said the applications came flooding in during the first week of the filing period, which began Oct. 1.
She now sees a steady flow of about 250 to 300 applications per day, which she downloads and posts to a database.
Applications are submitted online, using Fresno Stateâ€™s automated program, AutoAdmit. The program processes the applications and determines which students meet eligibility requirements. Some applications are flagged by the system if certain criterion is missing, such as test scores or residency documentation, Nelson explained.
As lead admissions technician, Linda Morales oversees seven staff members that review the flagged applications daily and follow up directly with students to obtain the missing information or documents. In a phone interview with The Collegian, Morales said she double checks up to 30 applications per day.
The admissions staff has streamlined the review process, learning from previous years to create a better organized system to handle the large number of applications, Morales said.
â€œWe have a lot of meetings. Thereâ€™s a lot of communication, so I think that really helps everyone to understand whatâ€™s going on,â€ Morales said of coping with the increased numbers of applications.
The admissions office has received more incoming calls this year from anxious parents, high school counselors and students concerned about the application process, Morales said. E-mails come pouring in each day from high school students worried about how a â€œDâ€ from the ninth grade will impact their eligibility to come to Fresno State.
Enrollment will be competitive for fall 2010 since Fresno State is now â€œimpactedâ€ for first-time freshman. Impaction means that there are more applications received in the initial filing period between, Oct.1 to Nov. 30, than the school is able to accommodate, Vinovrski explained.
â€œGiven our application increases in the last several years, but more importantly, because we have to cut enrollment by 9.5 percent, it means that we will not be able to accommodate about 400 first-time freshman,â€ Vinovrski said.
Priority will be given to students within the CSU Fresno-defined local area, which includes all high schools in Fresno, Kings, Madera and Tulare counties as well as 36 other school districts from surrounding counties.
Students outside of the primary service areas will be ranked in descending order according to an eligibility index, determined by GPA and test scores, and admitted as space is available, Vinovrski said.
For now, the admissions staff continues to work at processing the high number of applications pouring in each day. Students typically wait until the last minute, Morales said, and she expects this year to be no different. With less than five weeks remaining before the application deadline, Morales anticipates that her office will be extremely busy at the end of November.
â€œThatâ€™s when itâ€™s going to be crunch time. I think thatâ€™s when weâ€™re going to really feel the stress and the pressure,â€ Morales said.