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  • Swati Chopra

Cal State University Conference Update

This week I spent a day in Burlingame attending the annual CSU Counselor Conference. These conferences help us better understand what to expect in this year's admission cycle and keep us abreast of any changes that affect our students. What I love most about attending them in-person is the chance to meet with and talk to an admission rep from each campus.

Seniors are busy finishing up their early action and early decision applications and will be moving into the CSU application next week after the site opens up on October 1st. Students should be prepared to apply to the CSU system anytime between 10/1/23 and 11/30/23. Many campuses are strict and close their application systems on the night of November 30th but there are a handful of campuses which are open well into the new year.

The conference comes at a great time because it helps me help my families and answer their questions. I go in armed with specific issues and can talk to various campuses keeping certain students in mind. It's a perfect place to ask about low GPAs or missed science classes or even financial aid and new majors/pathways.

With over 23 campuses up and down the state, I'm thankful to be able to go to one place and get first-hand information on this impressive university system. The CSU system boasts over 4,000 programs that align to workforce demands. It also has an alumni network that is 4 million strong, working in every industry across the globe. Similar to the UC system, it uses the A-G courses/requirements for admission. Unlike the UC system, it's minimum GPA requirement is 2.50 for in-state students and local area students are at an advantage.

Here are some highlights ( I apologize for the pics, it's either this right now, in a timely manner or I wait for them to send me the slide deck in late October):

San Francisco State University - Nursing and Social Work are impacted. Some majors require prerequisite courses prior to admission. The average GPA in the last cycle was 3.33. SFSU is considered a local school for my students in Alameda and Contra Costa county.

Cal Poly Humboldt - 95% of students here are able to get hands-on research opportunities and experience. They are offering 12 new degree programs. Only Nursing is impacted here. Psychology, Zoology, Wildlife, and Environmental Resources Engineering are still the most popular majors at Humboldt.

CSU Los Angeles - CSULA continues to be a top choice for many students. Their top programs are Business, Psychology, and Biology. Again, Nursing was one of the majors that was impacted.

Last year they admitted over 30,000 students with an average GPA of 3.50. The cut-off was 2.60 (local) and 2.85 (in-state, non-local).

CSU Long Beach - This campus received the highest number of applications in the CSU

system. CSULB's admit rate last year was 47.1% overall - close to 80,000 students applied and 37,563 were offered acceptances. Their project enrollment was 5,800. Many of the CSU campuses use a GPA calculation/index to admit students. The calculations include extra points for local area, extra points for STEM GPA, extra points for military service, etc. Check out their engineering department for more information on the CS and Computer Technology programs.

CSU Bakersfield - The average GPA for CSUB was 3.30 and it comes up as a top 10 school for Nursing in CA. There is no local area advantage at this campus and no majors are impacted. It's a great choice for students with a lower GPA who want to major in competitive fields. It's student body is under 10,000 making it a great place to get support services while paying a public school tuition,

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo - SLO offers 64 majors and 89 minors. They're the only UC/CSU campus to take into consideration 9th -11th combined GPA. All majors are impacted at SLO. The average weighted GPA for last year's incoming class was 4.12.

CSU Monterey Bay - The average GPA last year was 3.25. Total enrollment is 7,000+. This is the 4th smallest CSU campus by population but it's ranked 4th largest in land size (with over 1,350 acres) and guarantees housing all four years. They have new majors coming out and unique majors like Communication Design (similar to Graphic Design) and Collaborative Health and Human Services. For those interested in Robotics, you should take a look at their Mechatronics Engineering major.

CSU East Bay - CSUEB is known for it's business and nursing program but many students don't realize it has a strong CS and Biological Science program as well. The average GPA last year was 3.41 and close to 13,000 students were admitted out of 14,600 applications. CSUEB has no impacted majors, which makes it a great choice for students who want to stay close to home. Check out their website for October 7th, preview day for applying students.

San Jose State University- SJSU is impacted across all majors. The admit rate last year was 77%. SJSU is known for it's Engineering and STEM programs but offers 130+ bachelor's and master's degrees with 110 concentrations. Students should be careful when they choose majors at SJSU. SJSU will consider the alternate major for those applicants who did not meet the impaction threshold to their first choice major. They will only admit to alternate majors if there is additional capacity for new student enrollment in that major.

That's just the tip of the iceberg, if you're interested in more information for a certain campus, please visit their websites.

Class of 2024: Time is running out. If you need help with your applications, we can plan an hourly session and help you through your questions. Don't lose momentum now, you're in the final stretch!

Class of 2025: If you're on my mailing list, you'll get updates and reminders of what you should be completing in junior year. If you're interested in aptitude testing or need advice on SAT prep, please reach out to me and we'll set you up sooner rather than later.

Class of 2026 and 2027: Keep an eye on that GPA! Its never too late to get help if you're struggling in a class. Enjoy school and stay busy with your extracurriculars. I'll see you in January/February to plan out your classes.


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