November 4, 2002 Vol. VII, No. 6

Cal State System, CSU Northridge, Set Enrollment Records

align=center> Twenty-Three Campus System Tops 400,000 Students, CSUN Surpasses 32,000

The California State University system, the largest in the country, has reached another record‹406,896 students enrolled at its 23 campuses on fall 2002 opening day. Among individual campuses, Cal State Long Beach topped San Diego State for the first time in 20 years as the campus with the largest enrollment.

Cal State Northridge‹with an adjusted enrollment of 32,070 for fall 2002, another all-time high‹ranks as the fourth largest CSU campus. The CSU system data shows CSUN with a gain of 2 percent or 622 students over last year's 31,448 fall enrollment. But that comparison does not reflect the shift of CSUN enrollment to the new CSU Channel Islands campus.

The CSU system data for CSUN this year counts Northridge campus-only students, while last year's numbers counted both Northridge and CSUN at Channel Islands attendees. For an even comparison, Northridge campus-only enrollment still grew 7 or 8 percent during the past year, from about 30,000 students to this year's 32,070 official Northridge campus total.

In the CSU system, fall 2002 marked the eighth consecutive year of growth. The CSU's fall 2002 headcount reflects an increase of more than 18,291 students, or 5 percent, compared to fall 2001's total of 388,605 students.

The CSU's 2002 enrollment also exceeded its current state funding; the system was funded for an increase of 15,000 students, compared to the 18,291 it recorded. Demographically, the enrollment increase reflects the ongoing "Tidal Wave II" phenomenon as the children of the baby boomers enroll in college at increasing levels.

The CSU, which has grown by more than 87,000 students since 1994, continues to serve its bulging student population by maximizing use of its facilities, relying more on nontraditional and technology-based courses, and offering more evening, weekend and summer sessions.

"The California State University mission is to provide eligible students with a high quality, affordable education, and we are doing that better every year," said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed.

"Our only worry is that state budget problems may mean tighter enrollments next year if we are not fully funded for all enrolled students," Reed said. "At the same time, we are proud that the CSU provides California with excellent educational opportunities at each of our 23 campuses."

Around the system, all but one campus reported enrollment increases. Only CSU Chico reported a slight drop compared to last year. That was deliberate given that Chico was overenrolled last year relative to its master plan capacity. This also was the first year for CSU Channel Islands to report enrolled students, as the campus opened this fall with 2,139 students. It will begin accepting freshman in fall 2003.

Among other campuses, Cal State Long Beach led the system with 34,566 students, a gain of 1,307 students. San Diego State University, now the second largest campus, recorded 34,304 students. Because San Diego has reached its physical capacity, it has little room for further growth. Fullerton ranked third in size with 32,143 students, followed by CSUN.

The largest headcount gains were at San Jose State University, with an increase of 2,359 students, Fullerton (1,786), Sacramento (1,635), San Francisco (1,513), and San Marcos (1,182). A CSU report providing additional details about the fall term opening enrollment is available at

The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses and now nearly 407,000 students and 44,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded about 2 million degrees.

@csun | November 4, 2002 issue
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