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What CSU students need to know about new proposals to improve access

Students at a commencement ceremony, May 2008
Students at a commencement ceremony, May 2008
Photo by CSU Stanislaus Photo/Flickr (Creative Commons)

The California State University system has been around for almost six decades, but the standards to get into its schools have changed dramatically. Last year, about 32,000 high school seniors were turned away from their first-choice CSU campus because of high demand.

To fix that enrollment problem, the university's trustees unanimously approved two proposals yesterday. Nathan Evans is Chief of Staff for Academic and Student Affairs at CSU. He joined Take Two's A Martinez to talk about what the new proposals mean for current and prospective students.

What the two proposals do

The first policy in those situations ensures that students applying from a local area to that particular campus are given priority in admission to those impacted majors. It isn't an absolute guarantee. The quintessential example is nursing. There are simply more students seeking those disciplines than there are resources to support.

The second, under the new policy, in those situations in which a student has not been admitted to any CSU campus but is eligible, they would have the opportunity to be redirected to another CSU campus that does have capacity. A student might apply to Long Beach and San Diego. If a student is not admitted to either of those campuses, they would be contacted and told about  other campuses that do have capacity, and they could be redirected to another campus without any additional fee.

How CSU defines local

The local area, local high schools and community colleges are defined by each CSU campus. Here in the L.A. basin, it's more compact, because there are more students and families living in a local area. But CSU Chico, their local area is about the size of Ohio, so there's variation around campuses and that's defined in working with their local partner school districts and community colleges.

What the new policies mean for prospective CSU students

It's an added opportunity for access. That local priority would provide some advantage in the admissions process. With the second policy, if they've done all the right things, there will be an offer of admission at the end of the process.