September 12, 2002
Classes are a little fuller and lines at the bookstore are a little longer this year, as a result of the largest student enrollment since 1990.
As of the morning of Sept. 12, there are 27,724 matriculated students, a 6.5 percent increase over last year at this time.
The preliminary full-time equivalent (FTE) for fall semester is 21,151, a 7.1 percent increase over last year at this time. FTE is equal to full-time student enrollment at the University.
Both enrollment figures are expected to grow in the next couple weeks, as more students continue to enroll and add classes.
The surge in enrollment follows a statewide trend that began about three years ago on college campuses in Southern California, according to Jo Volkert, assistant vice president for enrollment planning and management. But the trend only recently reached SFSU and other Northern California schools.
However, Volkert said most of the enrollment increase resulted from improved technology, which allowed prospective students easier access to information about the University.
"We have done some things to improve outreach, in technology and the way we receive and process applications. We received a significantly higher number of applications and successfully processed them," she said.
Volkert said the economy and a small population boom among students now entering college also contributed to the increase.
"The economy always brings people back to education," she said. "This is particularly significant at the graduate level. When the dot-coms went under, a lot of people lost their jobs and were thinking, 'What do I want to do?'"
As a result of the increase, Volkert said SFSU had to stop accepting applications for the fall semester July 31, which is earlier than usual. Administrators are considering the same step for next year.
"In the long term, we'll be talking about closing applications a little earlier than in the past," she said. "In previous years we've accepted applications through August, but we have to be careful. We don't want to admit more students than we can serve."
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