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Cal State Fullerton updated its Presidential Directive 22, requiring all members of the university community to wear face coverings indoors regardless of vaccination status. (Anthony Robles / Daily Titan) 

Cal State Fullerton received more new student enrollment applications for the 2020-21 academic year compared to previous ones despite the transition to virtual learning said Ellen Treanor, CSUF media representative, in an email to the Daily Titan. 

With over 45,000 applications for the fall semester and over 5,000 enrolled after acceptance, CSUF enrollment compared to previous semesters has increased sufficiently, according to data provided by the CSU system

At CSUF enrollments for the 2018 and 2019 fall semesters settled around 4,500, while the enrollment for the fall 2020 semester rose to 5,425, based on institutional research on the campus.

In comparison to other Cal State campuses, CSUF also retained the highest enrollment in fall 2019 with over 39,000 students. 

Over 41,000 students enrolled at CSUF during the 2020 fall semester. CSUF also stood the highest when it came to total enrollment versus the other 22 campuses in the CSUs for fall 2020.

CSUF President Framroze Virjee said on Monday that the university is planning for a primarily in-person 2021 fall semester. Registration will begin on March 22, according to an email from the dean of students. 

“I think some students want the full campus experience — to live on campus, participate in clubs and organizations, form study groups, cheer at athletic events and be part of the student community. They want classes in-person,” said Ellen Treanor, the associate vice president for strategic communications, in an email to the Daily Titan. 

CSUF’s acceptance rate also increased during the 2020 fall semester at 68%, compared to previous fall semesters which contained a rate of 53% in fall 2019, and 43% in fall 2018, a drastic increase since previous years. 

Each department also faced an increase in enrollment per program during fall 2020 compared to fall 2019, with the College of Business and Economics receiving the highest enrollment for fall 2020.

Despite the lack of an in-person environment, there has still been an increase in demand for the programs at CSUF compared to previous fall semesters, especially regarding incoming or attending freshmen who have enrolled for the 2020-21 academic year.

Alexis Fisher-Davis, a first year at CSUF, said that she chose to enroll because of locality, affordability and academic prestige. It was easy for Fisher-Davis to become wrapped up in the hope of attending her freshman year of college, which is what pushed her to continue, she said.

“When I heard it was going to be virtual it was a bummer for sure,” Fisher-Davis said. “I’m a decent student, you can be an A student in high school and a C student in college, but I’ve been an A student since middle school, so I was like, I can do this.”

Treanor said the CSUs were tracking slightly behind in applications at the end of 2019. Following a statement made by CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White regarding in-person fall classes and extending fall application deadlines, the number of applications normalized. 

“Our admissions process changed radically this year,” Treanor said. “We eliminated the standardized test requirements and moved to a holistic prospective student view.”

Examinations that determine admission eligibility, such as the ACT and SAT have been eliminated temporarily from CSU campuses for the 2021-22 academic year. 

The change in admission will only apply for the fall 2021, winter 2022 and spring 2022 semesters, according to a release from the CSU.

The release also said that the suspension of these academic exams is considered to provide temporary relief to students and their families while providing impartial access to all CSU campuses, which can allow for greater enrollment rates from first-time applicants.

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