(KION) The California State University system said it has its largest-ever student body this fall as a result of an increase in enrollment.
There are currently more than 485,000 students enrolled in total at the 23 campuses, including CSU Monterey Bay. The previous enrollment high was at more than 484,000 students in fall 2017, and there were nearly 482,000 students last fall.
“The record enrollment of 485,549 students reflects the confidence that state residents have in the California State University,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. “I commend the creativity and hard work of our faculty and staff who implemented innovative ways to carry on our tradition of inclusive academic excellence, despite the current pandemic and necessary transition to virtual instruction. Their efforts enabled us to welcome our new students and to connect and engage with all students like never before.”
Part of the increase in the number of students has been attributed to the retention rate, which is at an all-time high of 85.5% for first-year students. Last year, the system also awarded a record number of degrees, nearly 129,000 in total.
According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, undergraduate enrollment is down 4% nationwide, and down 1.4% at public four-year colleges.
In contrast, a school district in South Monterey County reports that it has seen a sharp decline in enrollment compared to previous years.