A cost-cutting effort in the California State University system will essentially keep Californians who wish to enter graduate programs in January out of their own schools.
“We’re limiting undergraduate and graduate enrollment for anyone who needs some sort of subsidy to attend college, which happen to be California residents,” CSU spokesman Mike Uhlenkamp said.
To help lower student costs, the state gives the CSU and University of California systems a subsidy for each state resident they admit. Because out-of-state residents and international students do not receive this subsidy, they alone will be allowed to start new grad degrees in the CSU system.
But even other Californians hoping to start a CSU education this spring will have a tough time. The system will allow a limited number of transfer students to enroll at just 10 of the 23 campuses.
Uhlenkamp said the policy emerged from a discussion the board of trustees had in March about severely limiting spring enrollment to cut costs. Enrollment at the end of last year was 341,250 systemwide, which was 2.9 percent higher than the state’s requested limit of 331,716 students, according to minutes from the March meeting.
Individual campuses can accept out-of-state or international students and collect the higher fees, Uhlenkamp said. That will be a small number of students, he noted, because only 315 out-of-state graduate students enrolled last spring.
Uhlenkamp said the campuses are permitted to accept some undergraduate students who have completed an associate’s degree for transfer — a new degree — from community colleges. The 10 campuses that will provide this transfer opportunity — including San Francisco, East Bay, Chico and Fullerton — were picked based on which universities still had room to reach their enrollment goals.
Jo Volkert, associate vice president of enrollment at San Francisco State University, said though she understands the state’s decision to cut costs by limiting spring enrollment, it could make things more difficult in the fall.
“The following fall ends up being much larger,” Volkert said. “You have this pent-up demand.”
Volkert said the number of new graduate students enrolling in the spring is “very, very small” and should not have a great effect.
CSU cut $750 million from its budget, which meant increased tuition and limited enrollment. And if November’s tax measures don’t pass, the university system faces additional midyear cuts.