Valley colleges see high application numbers despite nationwide decrease

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Colleges across the nation are seeing a decline in applications. Local schools are working hard to prevent this from happening in our backyard.

Schools we spoke with say they're being proactive about this and so far, application numbers are up for this year. However, both Fresno State and Fresno City College tell us it's something they're monitoring.

"I'd say that nationally numbers have declined, but at Fresno State, we haven't seen that same pattern yet," said Fresno State VP for Enrollment Management Malisa Lee.

At Fresno State, application numbers are watched very closely

"Anything could happen between now and November 30th, but the numbers are looking good right now," said Lee. "We're tracking it on a daily basis."

Nationally, colleges have seen a decline in applications from qualified students over the past several years. While Fresno State isn't quite at the number of applications they were at in 2019, they're up roughly 10 percent from last year.

"California has such a large population, so we didn't see the same amount of enrollment declines as say Nebraska or Iowa," said Lee. "Now, we're in a position of okay, it may not have hit us yet but it likely will come."

At Fresno City College, they say aggressive marketing has also helped them beat the trend.

"In fact, we've had an increase in applications," said Dr. Lataria Hall Fresno City College's VP of Student Services. "In our upcoming academic year in Fall of 2022, our numbers appear to be going back to pre-pandemic levels."

So far this year, they've had over 4,000 applications.

"That's huge," said Dr. Hall. "Because the year before that we had about 2,400 hundred applications, so hopefully we see that number double and if so, that means we're ahead of our target pre-pandemic."

Both schools say they've been very intentional about reaching out to potential students, in person and virtually, and that's helped keep the application numbers up. Fresno City College and Fresno State are both still accepting applications.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.