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California State University, Long Beach
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Enrollment Planning

Enrollment Planning Update November 2013


In Fall 2013 we implemented our new admissions criteria for freshmen and transfers, and, on the whole, the implementation was extremely successful.

  • We attracted highly qualified applicant pools for both freshmen and transfer students.
  • We increased our eligibility index for all freshmen and implemented a STEM index for applicants to the sciences, engineering, mathematics and pre-nursing.
  • We enrolled almost 10% more freshmen, including more than 700 engineering freshmen—an increase of 110 from Fall 2012.
  • 70% of our freshmen enrolled ready to take general-education level math and English, resulting in a need for more sections of calculus and Composition II (a 10% increase from Fall 2012).

Thanks to improved budgets and responsive enrollment planning, we were able to provide our freshmen with full and appropriate schedules. Their average unit load remains high at 13.91.

This fall, we intentionally lowered our new transfer headcount in anticipation of a Spring 2014 admissions cycle (our Fall 2012 transfer headcount was unusually high as we knew that we would be closed for Spring 2013 admissions). And, again, the applicant pool was highly qualified. 60% of our applicants had completed all of our major-specific required courses. We enrolled 3,284 transfer students—653 fewer than in Fall 2012. Our new approach to transfer admissions has allowed us to identify much more specifically the programs with greatest student demand, as well as the programs that are attracting fewer students. Echoing a national trend, enrollments in the humanities are declining while enrollments in health & human services and engineering are growing.

Our average unit load for continuing students remains high at 12.71, a slight increase from Fall 2012 (12.49). Changes in how we implemented the unit limits at registration helped ensure access to courses for new students without diminishing the average unit load of continuing students. Continuing students now register for up to 14 units at their first round of registration and may increase to 18 units during their second round. By all accounts, relatively few problems with access to courses were reported. We continue to work hard to address our remaining bottleneck courses.

New graduate and post-baccalaureate students increased by 8.5% to 2,088. Non-resident students (primarily international students) increased by 6.8% to 484. It is important to remember that our international student admits do not affect the number of CA residents that we admit but enhance the educational environment and are good for revenue. Overall, we have 693 fewer students on campus this fall, for a total of 35,586.

Spring 2014 Plans

For the first time in several years, we are experiencing a typical spring admissions cycle and are open for graduate, post-baccalaureate and transfer applicants in most majors. While the spring transfer pool was larger than in previous springs, the pool was not as highly-qualified as the Fall 2013 pool, suggesting that our new admissions approach requires that we rely on fall more intentionally. We are anticipating enrolling 1,000 transfer students in Spring 2014.

We anticipate that Spring 2014 FTES will be up close to 10%. College FTES targets have been posted. We continue to alter slightly our method to incorporate differences in college trends. As noted above, we appear to be following national trends away from the humanities and toward health & human services.

Our enrollment priorities remain unchanged and we remain focused on student success. Nothing is more central to our mission than ensuring that we provide the classes students need to graduate.

We encourage enrollment managers and chairs to aim for fill rates in the 85-95% range. Lower fill rates, especially in multi-section courses, suggest that efficiency could be improved while higher rates indicate needs are not being met adequately. We encourage enrollment managers and chairs to review class schedules, monitor enrollment and wait lists, adjust accordingly and respond to needs throughout the Spring 2014 registration period:

Date Spring 2014 Registration Period
1-Oct-13 Spring 2014 Advising begins
4-Oct-13 Spring 2014 class scheduling ends
14-Oct-13 Spring 2014 schedule change forms can be submitted
4-Nov-13 Spring 2014 continuing student registration begins

We are deeply appreciative of the difficulty of this work and of the efforts of college enrollment managers, schedulers, department chairs, and associate deans. Thank you for your ongoing efforts to ensure that students are well-served.