Fresno State admissions changes loom because of limited state funding

Fresno State may soon get more selective when it comes to choosing its freshman class. University administrators say enrollment applications are growing, but state funding to pay for the students is not.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The student population on Fresno State's campus may look a little different over the next few years. Right now, applications for enrollment at the university are booming, up 6 percent each year, but the college only has room to grow by 1.5 percent. This is forcing officials to look at offering acceptance letters to students they believe will be the most successful there.

"Our growth in applications is so much outpacing the amount of funding spaces we have through the legislature and the governor's office," said Dr. Frank Lamas, vice president of student affairs and enrollment.

Lamas says with less money available to accept more students, Fresno State will likely be choosier as to who they let in.

"Really who it impacts the most is that borderline student from the local area who's maybe a 2.0 to 2.2, low SATs, they're likely to be asked to go the path of the community college because of this," said Lamas.

Lamas says students who attend Fresno State and had a 2.0 to 2.2 GPA in high school had only a 19 percent rate for graduation, while transfer students have a 70 percent graduation rate.

Sang Yang is in his sixth year at Fresno State. Now, he's finally on his way to graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering.

"I didn't know what I wanted to be, and I think most of the time it's more about fishing out who can do it," said Yang.

Yang says, though, that GPA doesn't always weed out those confused students. He had a 3.7 in high school.

Other students agreed.

"I don't think the GPA should be an issue. I don't think it's fair for the students, for those who would like to attend a four-year college," said Valeria Kingston.

Administrators say it all comes down to finding the right path for each student. Despite some criticism during recent public hearings, the university says it will continue to enroll a widely diverse population of students, many of whom are low income.

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