As students trickle back to the classroom this fall, CSU officials say the freshman class size will hit record numbers for the third year in a row, while the overall population has remained relatively stagnant all three years.
The freshman population is expected to be about 4,490 this fall, said Robin Brown, the vice president of Enrollment and Access. The number is up about 100 from last fall’s enrollment, making this the largest freshman class the university has ever seen.
Final enrollment statistics won’t be released until September, Brown said. The stagnant number does not quite keep up with CSU’s stretch goal of bringing the student population up to an even 25,000 over the next four years. But Brown said the trend would bring the university to its objective.
“In the past three years, we’ve made steady progress toward our stretch goals and will bring in the third record freshmen class in a row this fall,” she said.
CSU enrolled 24,985 students last fall, which was an increase of 300 from 2006. These numbers, however, are still lower than the 25,000 mark, which the university broke in both 2003 and 2004.
CSU has bolstered recruitment efforts both in and out of state to meet the 25,000 mark.
On campus, these efforts include changes, such as moving student resource offices to better locations.
“It makes a really positive first impression and is much more enticing,” Brown said.
Another area Enrollment and Access is seeking to improve is resources for the transfer student population, which declined by 24 percent since 1997, according to the CSU Factbook.
Nonresident transfer student numbers are even lower, at 34 percent in the same time period.
To stop the downward trend in transfer student enrollment, several university departments have teamed up with Enrollment and Access to build a new transfer center to be located in the music building and completed by the spring semester.
“We’re ramping up how we treat our transfer students,” Brown said. “We used to bring in a new transfer class of 1,600 each year, but now have dropped to 1,300. It is our intention and goal to once again bring in 1,600 new transfer students and we hope to do so by improving our communication with, and service to, both prospective and current transfer students.”
The office will feature on-the-spot transcript evaluation, earlier connections with faculty in each major, and a peer mentor group.
Staff writer Rachel Survil can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.