· CA Independent (private college) enrollments increased to 7% from last year’s low enrollment of only 3%. Many private colleges are marketing their ability to get students out of college within the traditional 4-years timeframe – a prime cost consideration, and their ability to offer generous merit scholarships for academically competitive students has been evident.
For students who are thinking about attending a 4-year college, we are aware that this can be a time of great uncertainty as words of enrollment cut-backs and fee increases are showing up often in the media. Looking at the enrollment data from the graduating class of 2010, we’re encouraged to see that our seniors will be journeying to all parts of the country to continue their educations. The economic uncertainty has become a catalyst for these students, challenging them to rethink what’s available in a broader geographic sense and to explore colleges they might not have otherwise considered. Statistics from the 2010 Senior Class Post Graduation Plans indicate the following changes.
· Most noticeably, we see a 10% increase in seniors choosing out-of-state schools. Many are opting for public universities that are offering good scholarships or the Western Undergraduate Exchange (see article on p. 4 for more info). Some of this year’s most popular out-of-state campuses have a cost of attendance lower than that of those in the California public systems, yet still maintain that old-fashion college/community spirit that some of our CA campuses have lost, due to athletic budget cuts and the large undergrad populations.
· Enrollment in CA community colleges, which we expected to rise sharply – did not rise, but in fact dropped 6% below last year’s community college enrollment. Of the 27% of our seniors who have chosen to start their post high school educations at two year colleges, journeying around the state seems to be popular, as students have enrolled at 15 different campuses.
· CSU enrollment dropped by 9% compared to last year’s stats, with just 18% of our seniors choosing the CSU system. While Cal Poly SLO still tops the CSU chart, and actually adding twice as many seniors as last year, we are seeing more who’ve chosen San Diego State than in past years. As students were required to declare a major at SDSU this year, due to heavy program impaction, we hadn’t expected such an increase in admittance or enrollment. Sacramento State is also attracting more students than in past years. Enrollment numbers at Chico State, SFSU, San Jose State and Sonoma State decreased markedly.
· The UC system held steady with the same percentage (18%) of SRV seniors choosing the UC option, but we see the largest increase in the Davis enrollments balancing a similar decrease in those choosing the Santa Barbara campus.