Fresno State's Application Deadline Moved Up Abruptly

With new enrollment cap, school cuts off applications three weeks earlier than expected.

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In another sign of how budget problems are hitting higher ed in California, Fresno State has abruptly stopped accepting freshman applications, three weeks before the February 1 deadline, the New York Times reports. As Paper Trail wrote previously, the entire California State System is reducing enrollment by 10,000 to cut costs, and, according to Cal State system spokeswoman Clara Potes-Fellow, "Each campus knows their target, and they're closing as soon as they believe they have enough applications to meet their target.... So Fresno was planning to close in February, but they believed they reached their numbers earlier." Fresno State will have about 22,100 students next fall, down from 22,600 last year.

The Cal State system has a priority deadline of November 30, and nine of its campuses, including San Luis Obispo, San Diego, Poly Pomona, and San Jose, stopped accepting applications then. Fresno State, however, has an extended admissions schedule, although one that was not set in stone. "When we decided to stay open through February 1, we said on our website and our materials that the date was subject to change," said the school's director of admissions, "and we reminded counselors to have students apply early." She added that 85 percent of students submit their applications by the November 30 deadline.

The Cal State chancellor thinks other schools will follow Fresno State's lead and push up application deadlines in a hurry. "This is new for all of us," Potes-Fellow said. "We are coping with the budget crisis and learning in the process. And we can't say when the last ticket will be sold."