Fresno State officials say they are turning away more than 3,000 eligible applicants for admission next fall, marking the second year in a row the school has rejected that many students.
The school is putting a lid on admissions because it doesn't have enough money or class space to accommodate the surge in applicants it has seen in recent years.
Bernard Vinovrski, associate vice president for enrollment, said he received 6.5% more applications for the 2014-15 year than the current year. The average increase across California State University is 2.8%, he said.
Overall, California State University, Fresno got about 18,000 first-year applications for next school year. Of those, about 13,300 are eligible for admission, but only 10,300 students will be admitted to fill 3,265 freshmen seats. Not every student admitted will wind up being a Bulldog.
Vinovrski said the rejected applicants are mostly first-time freshmen applicants who are from outside the university's four-county service area -- Fresno, Madera, Kings and Tulare counties. Fresno State is required to admit all local students who meet the minimum CSU grade-point average and course requirements.
That left some people from outside the region out of luck. Vinovrski said the admissions office had to use other criteria to admit those students, including higher GPA and standardized test score benchmarks.
"The only good news is many students we turned away from outside our area can still go to their local institution," he said. "But they didn't want to do that, they wanted to come here."
University President Joseph Castro has called for more money to help boost enrollment and is expecting enough state dollars to fill 400 more seats. But Vinovrski said Fresno State has been "over-enrolling" for a few years -- accepting more students than it can afford to pay for -- which means actual enrollment numbers might increase only slightly next fall.
"If we brought in many more students, we would have to hire additional personnel, we'd have to hire more advisers," he said. "It gets back to money, facilities and space."
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