As the number of applications received in the public university systems of California reaches a record high this year, the number of available openings will decrease at many of its campuses. As a result, thousands of high school seniors must brace themselves for letters of rejection.
San Diego State University, for example, received 61,663 applications this year, an increase of 6 percent. At the same time, due to projected budget cuts, it expects to reduce the number of those admitted by approximately 25 percent, from 9,813 to 7,323. On a larger scale, applications to the 23 campuses of the California State University system rose by 11 percent this year, to 504,800, as approximately one third of its campuses prepare to admit fewer students.
The swell of applications stems from several factors, not the least of which is the record number of high school seniors nationwide who will graduate this year, more than 3 million. In addition, those seniors are sending applications to more colleges than seniors did in the past. A study at UCLA has found that 4 percent of college freshmen in 1976 applied to six or more colleges, while the number increased to 18 percent in 2006.