Five Percent Increase in Resident Enrollment

$206.1 million

The CSU aims for bold increases in enrollment to meet student demand for a CSU education and the needs of California’s future workforce. The CSU plans to increase resident enrollment by 18,207 fulltime equivalent students (FTES). Using the marginal cost rate, which is the cost of education per FTES, the funding required to support 18,207 new FTES in 2019-20 is $206.1 million.


2018-19 Resident FTES Base 364,131​
Proposed Growth (5%)​18,207​
2019-20 Total Resident FTES​382,338​
​Marginal Cost Rate per FTES$11,322
Total Cost of Enrollment Growth​ $206,140,000​

Increased funding for enrollment means increased capacity to educate students without sacrificing quality. Through Graduation Initiative 2025, we have hired hundreds more faculty, offered thousands more course sections, increased the average unit load per student and awarded more bachelor’s degrees annually. Accommodating increased enrollment happens through face-to-face instruction and through a growing number of sections offered in fully on-line and hybrid courses. 

CSU's Fully Online Courses project added more than 1,000 course sections over the past three years as the number of undergraduate students participating in fully online or hybrid programs at the CSU has increased by 25 percent. Additionally, Cal State Online Complete will be launched to meet the needs of students who started college but never obtained a degree—this online option will help them complete their education at the CSU.

The CSU is implementing a redirection policy beginning with the fall 2019 application cycle to ensure that all first-time and transfer applicants who meet minimum CSU eligibility requirements are offered admission to at least one CSU campus. While the 1965 Master Plan recommends the CSU accept the top 33 percent of high school graduates, the number of CSU-eligible high school students is actually 41 percent, according to a study commissioned by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. The new redirection policy provides CSU-eligible undergraduate applicants, who are waitlisted or denied admission due to either campus or program impaction, an opportunity to be redirected to and offered admission by a non-impacted campus. This aligns with the admissions guarantee in place for transfer applicants who have an Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT). This policy change, coupled with additional enrollment funding, could result in significantly more first-time and transfer students enrolled at the CSU in the 2019-20 academic year.

The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) estimates that over the next 15 years, the state’s public and private institutions of higher education will produce 3.1 million bachelor’s degrees, while the projected need is closer to 4.2 million, leaving a gap of 1.1 million degrees. Of the 1.1 million degree gap, the PPIC calculates the CSU will need to graduate an additional 481,000 students to meet its share of the gap. 

The CSU will partially meet workforce demand by increasing access and completion outcomes through Graduation Initiative 2025. A funded enrollment increase of three to five percent per year over the next decade is necessary to meet increasing student demand for a CSU education and to meet California’s future workforce needs.