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University enrollment soars to new heights

Fresno State had a record-high enrollment for fall 2015, creating a challenge for future and current students.

Enrollment figures went up 998 from last year’s 23,138 to 24,136 this year.

“This is the largest first-time freshmen class that we’ve admitted in the history of Fresno State,” said Tina Beddall, director of Admissions and Records. “With that, we are retaining more students as well.”

Beddall said Fresno State’s administration is hoping to have the class offerings to accommodate full enrollment for both future and current students.

Dr. Malisa Lee, associate vice president for enrollment management, said the reason why enrollment numbers are going up is that there is an increase in demand for students wanting to attend Fresno State.

“Fresno State is becoming a destination where lots of students want to come here,” Lee said.

She added that Fresno State is moving into something called program impaction. This means the university will have to start limiting the number of people who are allowed to come to Fresno State because of the lack of capacity to take all the students who are wishing to get in.

“What that means is that, here every program, every department has an ability to go back and take a look and say, ‘Do we really need to re-change our admissions requirements because we have 3,000 more students who want to come in but we only have 200 spots,’” Lee added.

Lee said the number of students wishing to attend Fresno State surpasses the number of spaces that are actually available. Therefore, the admission eligibility is being changed “to become a little bit more refined to the population that the programs need.”

Lee added that although the demand to come to Fresno State has grown, it is still a very positive situation for the university. However, it creates a challenge.

“The challenge now is how we ensure that all of the students who are coming in here are graduating on time, that they’re retained and graduating on time,” Beddall said . “Having 24,000 students does put that challenge with regards to class offerings, but they’re certainly really looking at that. They’ve been putting a lot of attention at the class schedule and trying to meet the demand of what students want.”

She said the university receives its funding and target growth from the California State University Chancellor’s office. The office sets a target and then the university receives the funding which can be used to hire faculty needed to offer more classes.