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Sunday, May 26, 2024

CSUN Cuts Admissions

In December, California State University, Northridge, declared the school “impacted,” meaning that it is cutting the amount of time prospective students have to apply for admission and reducing the number of incoming freshmen it will accept. Meanwhile, University of California regents are pondering the possibility of scaling back on the number of students admitted to its university system as well. “Things are getting difficult for everyone in California,housing and employment, keeping your job or keeping your salary and also entering into higher education. Every area is being affected by the budget,” said Clara Potes-Fellow, director of communications for the California State University Chancellor’s office. All in all, it’s anticipated that the CSU will trim its student body statewide between 10,000 and 12,500. The changes in admission policy make the competition even more fierce for students seeking enrollment at public universities in the area and could result in boosting the amount of applicants to private institutions, community colleges or less-established public schools. But Terry Piper, CSUN’s vice president for student affairs, said that the move CSUN has made will benefit students in the long run. “CSUN is totally committed to sustaining its academic quality by serving those for whom we receive funding,” he explained. “We are one of the institutions that is overenrolled. We are overenrolled by 2,000 students.” Students who apply to CSUN and live in the vicinity, an area that includes the San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita Valley, Antelope Valley and Los Angeles and Ventura counties, will be given priority admission. Students who live farther away risk rejection if they have not performed at a particular level academically. The competition may be stiffer for UC applicants. “The University of California is going to, in all likelihood, reduce its freshman enrollment,” Piper said. Students “who don’t get into UCLA and have applied to Northridge (and) choose to go to Northridge increase the number of students coming to CSUN, which then reduces the number of students coming into Tier 2. In that sense, there is more competition for access to higher education in general.” Moreover, because the deadline to apply to CSUN has been pulled back, students may not be able to count on the university as a “safety school” if they are rejected by another university. “Students, especially in the CSU system, are used to applying very, very late. In the past, they had the luxury of applying even one week before classes started,” Potes-Fellow said. Matthew Ward, vice president for enrollment management at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, agreed. He said that CLU is keeping a watchful eye on what’s transpiring at public universities. The state budget cuts may end up being a blessing for the private school. According to Ward, CLU is already experiencing a 35 percent increase in applications. “We pull a lot of students regionally. We expect to increase enrollment,” he said. “Our strategic plan has us growing by a little more than 10 percent over the next five years.” Ward believes that CLU may be garnering more interest because families are becoming better educated on the financial aid packages private universities offer. “We provide more than $19 million of financial aid,” Ward said. In fact, CLU provides scholarships that match the cost of tuition at University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of California, Santa Barbara. Students aren’t the only group affected by the reduction in enrollees at public universities. With thousands of fewer students at CSUN, for example, the school will likely employ fewer part-time instructors. Piper added, “All kinds of businesses,eateries, gas stations,would be the impacted by the number of students who will not be here.”

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