Students scramble to apply for colleges

January 17, 2008 7:23:42 PM PST
High school seniors considering the Cal State system for college are learning there's been a major change for late applicants. The paperwork is now due February 1st instead of this summer.

High school students across California are scrambling to fill out their Cal State University applications, now that the deadline has been moved up six months.

It will mostly affect those who are still deciding where to go and those waiting to see if they got into their first choice colleges.

"So for a lot of high school students, they put it off. They truly don't want to be forced into a decision because they don't know what they want," says Michelle Khayat, High School Counselor.

The CSU Chancellor said he needed to reduce enrollment by 10,000 students and lay off some non-tenured staff, based upon Governor Schwarzenegger's latest budget numbers where every department had to take a ten percent cut.

"We have to close the application process to control what our enrollment is going to be next year. We can't expect our faculty and staff to serve more and more with less and less money," says Charles Reed, CSU Chancellor.

The earlier cut-off comes at a time when the number of applications to California's public universities are reaching an all-time high.

Some leaders think schools in poorer areas will be hit the hardest because there might not be enough college counselors there to spread the word of the new deadline.

"What this basically does is cuts them off at the knees and could result in diminishing the minority population of the pool of applicants," says Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles.

Most of the students who miss the new deadline will now likely have to go to a community college, which are also filling up fast.

"Although we'll have space for the students that want to attend the colleges, it'll certainly mean they'll need to enroll early and it would be harder for them to get the class schedule they want," says Brice Harris, Los Rios Community College Chancellor.

And for those students who do get into CSU, the Governor's proposed state budget does leave room for another tuition hike, but it'll be up to the Board of Regents.