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CSU extends application deadlines, citing student coronavirus hardships

Students walk on the campus of Cal State Los Angeles in 2018.
Students walk on the campus of Cal State Los Angeles in 2018.
(Nick Agro / For The Times)

More than a million students who apply to the 23-campus California State University system annually will now have 11 extra days to submit their applications after the deadline was extended to Dec. 15 to ease the burden on those facing challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the chancellor’s office said Tuesday.

The original deadline for incoming freshmen and transfer applicants for fall 2021 was Dec. 4.

“By extending the deadline, we are acknowledging that prospective students, their families and really everyone is dealing with many, many challenges and we don’t want the deadline to be the reason that someone doesn’t apply to college,” Mike Uhlenkamp, a spokesman for the Cal State chancellor’s office, said. “We felt this would be helpful to prospective students who are weighing their options and ultimately want to make it as easy as possible to apply to a CSU campus.”

The Cal State system also encouraged students to visit the university’s financial aid website after applying to learn about options to finance their education. With annual tuition and fees at $7,360, CSU is one of the most affordable public universities in the nation, and 80% of its students receive some type of financial aid.

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The decision follows other pandemic-related changes the Cal State system has made, including suspending the use of SAT/ACT exam scores in the admissions process and accepting spring grades of “credit” or “pass” instead of letter grades for courses required for admission.

The system saw record enrollment in fall 2020, driven largely by increases in transfer students and the share of first-year students who stayed on.

The University of California also announced Sunday evening that it would push back its application deadline for all freshman and transfer applications from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4 after its online application system experienced several hours of intermittent outages.

“We understand and regret the inconvenience and stress these technical disruptions may have had on applicants and their families,” UC said in a statement. “The University therefore decided to extend the deadline ... in hopes that the additional time will help reduce the anxiety around the application process and deadline.”


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