March 8, 2002

SDSU Streamlines Undergraduate Admissions

University Significantly Limits Spring Admissions in Favor of Greater Access in Fall

San Diego State University, in the midst of the unprecedented enrollment demands of "Tidal Wave 2," is streamlining its admissions cycles to help accommodate an unprecedented number of applicants for the fall 2002 semester.

SDSU is significantly curtailing admissions for the spring 2003 semester so it can enroll more new students this fall. SDSU has received more than 40,000 applications for the fall 2002 semester, and originally planned to enroll about 5,500 new undergraduate students. By concentrating admissions in the fall semester, SDSU will be able to accommodate about 6,550 new undergraduate students when classes start in September.

"We're taking every step that we can to ensure the quality of our academic programs remains high and the diversity of our student body is maintained," said President Stephen L. Weber. "This latest step will enable us to do several things. It will allow SDSU to take more students in the fall 2002 semester. It will also moderate increases in minimum eligibility requirements for incoming freshmen and upper-division transfer from outside our service area Finally, it will help us achieve the greatest level of diversity among entering students."

Next spring, admissions will be limited to two categories of students. The first is CSU-eligible students from community colleges within SDSU's service area (San Diego County south of State Route 56 and all of Imperial County) who are fully prepared to enter their major at SDSU. The other will be nursing students because nurses are in such critically short supply, and SDSU has received private support through its SDSU Nurses New Program to fund additional enrollment in its School of Nursing.

Over the last three years, an average of 2,116 new students have enrolled at SDSU during the spring semester, most of them upper-division community college transfers. Under the new admissions policy, SDSU estimates it will enroll less than 1,000 new students in spring 2003.

Limiting spring admissions will mean fewer students on campus during spring semester and thus fewer students continuing the next fall.

Also, by having fewer students on campus during the spring semester, SDSU will be able to transfer more academic resources to summer sessions. SDSU plans to double summer session enrollment from 1,400 full-time equivalent students (FTES) in 2002 to about 2,800 FTES by 2010. Enrollment during summer 2001 broke all records at SDSU and tripled from the prior year.

"Without limiting spring admissions, eligibility requirements for applicants from North County or other parts of the state would be exceptionally high," said Ethan Singer, associate vice president of Academic Affairs. "For example, the minimum GPA for community college transfers to be admitted to SDSU would exceed that required to transfer to a University of California campus. "What we're doing actually keeps our doors open to a greater ethnic and geographic diversity of students, which we strongly believe is in the best interests of the campus environment."

The entire state is experiencing the effects of "Tidal Wave 2," an explosion of nearly 715,000 students who are expected to apply for admission into California's colleges and universities between 1999 and 2010. During this time the CSU's enrollment is projected to grow from 349,804 (already the largest of any university system in the United States) to 479,485.

"SDSU's enrollment demand challenges are a harbinger for the entire CSU system and the entire state," Weber said.

SDSU currently has a student population of 34,171, which ranks it as the 23rd largest university in the U.S. and second-largest in California (after UCLA). Since fall 1994, undergraduate applications for SDSU have risen nearly 122 percent. If the current trends continue among California institutions, only UCLA will receive a greater number of undergraduate applications.

To manage its enrollment demand, SDSU has employed a series of strategies designed to match enrollment with funding and the campus' capacity to serve. These strategies include: growing the main campus, implementing year-round operations, growing off-campus centers, working with Cal State San Marcos to establish separate regional enrollment service areas, and adopting a dual admission policy for incoming students with remedial education needs.

Individuals with questions about SDSU's admission requirements may call SDSU's Prospective Student Center at (619) 594-6336 or email to

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