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Record numbers apply to Cal State system

December 5, 2011 |  5:40 pm

Photo: Students walk on the Cal State Long Beach campus. Creidt: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times California State University received a record number of undergraduate applications, with 665,860 first-time freshmen and transfer students applying for fall 2012, officials said Monday.

The application totals are from Oct. 1 through Nov. 30, the priority period for Cal State's 23 campuses. The total last year was 611,225 through the same period. The submissions came from 258,834 individual applicants, also up from last year. Potential students typically apply to multiple campuses, officials said.

For the first time this year, more applicants were Latino (33.3%) than white (31.2%). Seven campuses — Bakersfield, Channel Islands, Dominguez Hills, East Bay, Stanislaus, Humboldt and the California Maritime Academy — are still accepting undergraduate applications.

Cal State Long Beach, meanwhile, continues to have one of the largest applicant pools in the nation, officials said. The campus received 75,132 undergraduate applications for fall 2012, compared with 69,317 last year — an 8% increase. More than 54,000 of the applications were from first-time freshmen.

Cal State as a whole has been hard-pressed to keep up with demand because of state funding cuts; last year, the university system turned away 20,000 qualified applicants. Last month, the Board of Trustees asked the state to restore $333 million in cuts in order to increase enrollment and student services.

“At a time when many people are questioning the value of a college degree, these numbers validate the value of a Cal State Long Beach education,” Long Beach President F. King Alexander said in a statement.  “Unfortunately, we have a state Legislature that will only allow a small fraction of these students to attend our campus because they would rather incarcerate than educate California’s citizens.”

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--Maura Dolan and Carla Rivera

Photo: Students fill the Cal State Long Beach campus. Creidt: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

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