University officials announce stiffer admissions requirements


California State University system officials announced stiffer admissions requirements today, a move that could force more local high school seniors to attend San Diego State and Cal State San Marcos.

Cal State University confirmed today that for the first time ever it will turn away eligible students system-wide - up to 10,000 of them - for the 2009-10 academic year.

The system had previously announced the possibility of limiting enrollment to 450,000 students statewide because of a funding shortfall, and made it official today.

The university had already increased class sizes and staffed new courses with lower-paid part-time teachers, but those stop-gap measures failed to solve the crisis, said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed.

“We cannot continue to admit students if we do not receive adequate funding from the state to support such enrollment,’’ Reed said. “The quality of all students’ education will be degraded by the chronic combination of under-funding and over-enrollment.’’

The reason more local students could end up at San Diego State and Cal State San Marcos is that those who fail to meet higher admission standards for campuses outside San Diego County can still get guaranteed admission in their home county if they apply by Nov. 30, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Academically qualified students from high schools or junior colleges south of state Route 56 are guaranteed admission to San Diego State, while qualified students from high schools or junior colleges north of the highway have guaranteed admission to Cal State San Marcos.

The stiffer admission requirements at CSU result from a reduction in state funding and a surge in applicants, which is likely due to the poor economy combined with the fact that tuition at Cal State campuses is generally cheaper than at other colleges and universities.

“This is one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make as chancellor of the CSU,’’ CSU Chancellor Charles Reed said Wednesday at a board meeting in Long Beach.

Reed has served as CSU’s chancellor since 1998.