California State University, Sacramento has a record number of students this fall semester, with 28,845 students enrolled in classes. That’s up more than 300 from last year and tops the previous high of 28,558 in 2002.
The enrollment figures reflect gains in freshmen transfers, senior transfers and graduate students, as well as a nearly 10 percent increase in international students. But first-time freshmen and transfers at the sophomore and junior level were down. Students are also taking a slightly lighter class load.
Overall, while enrollment grew for the fall, the campus still missed its growth target for the fall semester by about 0.5 percent. That had been seen as a possibility because of initial delays related to technology upgrades and new processes in student recruitment, but was still disappointing to campus officials.
“We had hoped to possibly exceed our growth target by a bit this year,” said Provost Joseph Sheley. “But we’re getting there. We’re making improvements and changes that are going to start paying off, and I expect our student recruitment efforts will be going strong and showing great success in the coming years.”
One thing that’s changing is that students will find out much sooner that they’ve been accepted.
While the number of applications rose this fall to a total of 30,949 (from 30,261 in fall 2006), many applicants were already committed elsewhere by the time they received their acceptance to Sacramento State. That shouldn’t pose future problems now that the new technology and enrollment timelines are fully implemented.
In fact, Sacramento State is expected to begin sending acceptance letters to some qualified applicants before Oct. 10 – just over a week after the application period opened for California State University campuses. Notifications will then continue on a rolling basis.
Sheley and others cite increased competition from private universities as well as institutions outside the Sacramento Region as challenges in coming years.
In response, the campus will focus on a number of activities to improve its student recruitment. These include the quicker acceptance notifications, more outreach efforts in Southern California, more ongoing communication with prospective students and their families, faster transcript evaluations for transfer students, and better collaboration among various campus units.
Media assistance is available by contacting the Sacramento State Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.