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CSUN Puts Focus On Geography in Admission Policy

CSUN Puts Focus On Geography in Admission Policy By SLAV KANDYBA Staff Reporter In response to an expected budget shortfall from the state, California State University Northridge is reconfiguring its enrollment policy for freshman admissions this fall by geography while simultaneously accepting fewer first-time freshmen. While transfers and graduate students are not affected by the policy, CSUN will shrink its freshman class this fall by 400 and give preference to high school applicants from the Valley and some nearby communities over their peers from other parts of Los Angeles County and California, according to John Chandler, the university’s spokesperson. The moves are in response to a budget proposal and directive from Gov. Schwarzenegger’s office and Cal State system Chancellor Charles Reed that have asked all CSU campuses to reduce their freshmen enrollments for the coming year by 10 percent, Chandler said. The two measures go “hand in hand,” because CSUN anticipates a $15 million to $20 million shortfall in its budget. In addition to restricting the number of freshmen students, CSUN is also for the first time looking at geography as a factor in admissions. While high school seniors in California have traditionally been able to apply to any Cal State campus and generally get in even if it’s far from their hometown, they will not be able to do so next year at CSUN. For fall 2004, the CSUN admissions office will look to see if the student can be served by another Cal State campus near their residence as well as look at the number of other students from an applicant’s high school that have enrolled at CSUN over the past several years, Chandler said. Students in the Valley who meet the school’s basic criteria including grade average and test scores are “automatically offered admission,” Chandler said. Those that live in the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys and Ventura County will also be given preference as will students from West Los Angeles, Pacific Palisades and Malibu since those areas had “a large number of high schools on our admission list” and “don’t have another CSU campus close by that they could choose,” Chandler said. CSUN President Jolene Koester, however, defended the enrollment policy change citing necessity. “We have no choice given the reduction in resources other than to reduce the enrollment of the campus, otherwise we will compromise quality” she said.

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