September 13, 2004

Students taking on more classes

Sacramento State’s average student became full-time this fall, topping the 12-unit per semester mark and adding to the University’s much-watched measure of “full-time equivalent students” (FTE).

On average, students are now taking 12.04 units. That’s up from an average unit load that ranged from 11.6 to 11.87 over the last five years.

The increase follows an addition of 55 class sections made possible by the recent state budget agreement. The unexpected growth funding in that agreement came too late to add more new students this fall, so officials decided to add classes for now and aggressively recruit new students for spring.

“The funding for additional classes is really good news for our students,” says Larry Glasmire, who handles enrollment management for Academic Affairs. “They’re able to get a better schedule, and they can get more of the classes they need to complete their programs sooner.”

While a unit-load increase of about .2 units – about 7 percent of a typical three-unit class – might not seem like much, in the long run it could make a big difference for average time-to-graduation.

It is also vital for campus funding because the CSU Chancellor’s Office distributes funding based on FTE, not headcount. With the increased number of units students are taking this fall, FTE is down just 84 after one week of classes even though headcount is down 500.

The campus is looking to make up for that downturn in enrollment in the coming spring.

Recruiters hope to admit 1,100 more new students this spring than last in order to meet the enrollment target for 2004-05, according to Emiliano Diaz director of outreach, admissions and records. So even though the August priority application period has passed, applications are still being taken.

That’s a big change from the last two years, in which state budget shortfalls brought tighter deadlines and other admissions restrictions, especially in the spring.

Overall, new freshmen enrollment is down about 100 this year and new graduate student enrollment is down 300. The number of junior transfer students is up about 200.

More information is available from University Outreach at 278-7362. Enrollment information and applications for all CSU campuses are available at


California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
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