Enrollment at Cal State Northridge is down about 1,800 students compared to last fall. Administrators say the drop--which was smaller than expected--can be partly blamed on reduced class offerings and budget cuts.
Lorraine Newlon, director of admissions and records, said the total number of students attending fall semester is 27,282, down from last fall’s head count of 29,084 but higher than the projected attendance of 26,671.
Enrollment at CSUN has fallen steadily for about three years as the university has cut back classes and programs due to a drop in state funds. Enrollment was at its highest in 1988, when 31,500 students signed up for classes.
Enrollment for all of last year at CSUN was 27,830, a number that represents an average of fall and spring semester enrollments. Usually, fewer students take classes in spring, Newlon said.
Newlon said this year’s numbers can be explained in part by the economy.
“We may have drawn more students who couldn’t afford to go away to schools, but we may have lost some who can’t afford the CSU system anymore because of the year after year of fee increases,” she said.
Enrollment is both a measure of how many students want to attend the school and how much money is available to provide class spaces for them.
This year, the number of spaces available and the number of students applying matched up fairly well, Newlon said. In the past, the university has had to turn away qualified applicants, but that was not necessary this year, she said.
Newlon also said that the number of class hours taken by most students is up slightly this fall, from last year’s average of 10.5 units up to 10.6 units. She said that means the university is succeeding in its efforts to provide more of the classes that students need to graduate. To graduate in four years, students must take an average of 15 units of class each semester.