This year more than ever, deadlines will be the deciding factor between late and lucky college hopefuls. Enrollment Services at Fresno State is projecting a record number of first-time freshmen applications for the 2009 school year.
Bernie Vinovrksi, associate vice president of Enrollment Services, expects that the total number of applications received for 2009 will exceed the 14,451 that came in last year.
â€œOur University Outreach Service has done a tremendous job getting the word out about Fresno State,â€ Vinovrksi said, citing a 7,000 increase in applications in only a yearâ€™s time.
Due to budget constraints, however, the university can only admit 2,800 new freshmen. Even with a projected growth rate of 2.5 percent over 10 years, this number will not change and up to 10,000 new arrivals will have to be turned away.
Vinovrksi said this would not happen if applicants meet the priority deadline of Nov. 30, when 80 percent of applications are normally in. Beyond that, he could not guarantee.
Fresno State is not the only CSU having to turn away eligible applicants. California State University, Fullerton set its deadline for January while California State University, Long Beach is not accepting applications after December.
Funding does not vary much between CSUs across the state, but some universities receive a substantially greater number of applications than others. Vinovrksi said that Cal Poly takes in about 30,000 applications on any given year, but cannot accommodate any more than Fresno State can.
Vinovrksi added that universities such as Cal Poly, CSU San Diego and CSU Long Beach are impacted schools, meaning that they are so full that they must impose additional requirements on otherwise eligible applicants. These include socioeconomic status, special talents, or other similar characteristics.
While Fresno State does not fall into that category, Vinovrksi said that those conditions are falling into place in the Valley.
â€œWe are certainly creeping toward that direction,â€ Vinovrksi said, â€œespecially if thereâ€™s no growth in funding.â€
The outlook is better for applicants that graduated from a high school within the Valley.
According to the local admission guarantee of the CSU system, first-time freshmen and upper division transfer students who reside within a given campusâ€™ serviceable area will only be screened on the basis of established CSU admission policies and not on supplementary admission criteria.
For Fresno, this means that applicants who graduated from a high school within the five-county area will get preference over outside students who meet the same eligibility criteria.
Lower division transfer students (those that have not obtained 60 units prior to transferring) and students seeking a second bachelorâ€™s degree or a post-baccalaureate degree will be told to wait until room is available in the university or they can choose to earn the needed units at another institution.
The UC System may have more demanding eligibility criteria than the CSU, but it is still allowing some moderate growth despite a flat budget of $3.2 billion similar to last yearâ€™s.
The UCâ€™s Web site states that â€œa total of 60,008 California high school seniors were offered admission, a 4.7 percent increase of admitted students (+2,690) over the fall 2007 term (57,318).â€
â€œDespite the fact that the state budget did not provide funds for enrollment growth, the UC decided that we were going to keep our historic practice of accepting all eligible students,â€ Ricardo Vasquez, spokesperson for the UC system, said.