Aug 13, 2020

More students roam campus

Students walk toward the Peters Business Building.
Juan Villa / The Collegian

Whether it’s because of the location, the modest tuition or successful recruitment services, Fresno State is seeing an ever-increasing number of students heading its way.

This fall there are 2,655 first-time freshmen on campus—the largest freshman class in Fresno State’s history—and another 2,650 transfer and graduate students added to the mix.

“It’s really the outstanding job that our University Outreach Services does with their professional staff–visiting high schools and communicating with prospective students,” said Bernie Vinovrski, associate vice president for enrollment services.

“In 1998, which is not too long ago…we enrolled 1,650 freshman, so since 1998 to the present there was a growth of over 1,000 first-time freshmen.”

Vinovrski said a key part of recruiting students to the campus involves “relationship building,” where the university sends out a series of letters and e-mails to anyone expressing interest in the university.

If a student chooses to have their SAT scores sent to the university or comes by for a visit, he or she will more than likely be contacted by the university.

Vinovrski believes that because of this constant communication between the university and its prospective students, more people feel that Fresno State truly wants them to be a part of the student body.

In recent surveys conducted by the university—targeting both students who chose to attend Fresno State and those who chose another university, but at some point considered Fresno State—a majority of the students felt that the “relationship building” technique was very effective, Vinovrski said.

This type of recruiting has proven successful in comparison to other universities within the California State University system, since Fresno State has either hit or exceeded its personal enrollment target for the past 10 years.

Last year, seven of the 23 CSU campuses did not even reach their enrollment target, Vinovrski said.

Another effective way of recruiting new students is by word-of-mouth from current or past students.

“We build on the success that students are spreading through word-of-mouth that Fresno State is a great campus,” Vinovrski said.

Inder Singh, a freshman graduate student studying computer science, was easily convinced that Fresno State was the choice for him.

“I was told that a state university would be good,” Singh said. “Then a lot of people told me about [Fresno State] and after coming here [with my brother], I liked it.”

Though these increases in enrollment mean more funds for the university, some students question whether Fresno State can keep up with this constant increase.

Vinovrski said the university is expecting to see 2.5 percent more students for the next fall semester, and will be able to accommodate that increase for the next several years.

The university is readily aware of the issue and working on the Campus Master Plan to handle future increases, Vinovrski said.

The master plan is committed to offering more classes, parking spaces and newer buildings to accommodate the growth. It will be somewhat of a “campus footprint” of where potential parking spots will be located, areas where additional trees will be planted and routes for future pathways from one end of the campus to the other, Vinovrski said.

Though the increase in student enrollment is steadily climbing, Fresno State is embracing the opportunity to expand with the student body.

“We feel, with adequate planning, that we could handle more students,” Vinovrski said.

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