Following a year where nearly 1,000 more students accepted Cal Poly’s offer of admission than expected, Cal Poly is now working towards bringing down the total enrollment size of its student body.

According to Associate Vice Provost for Marketing and Enrollment Development James Maraviglia, campus officials are purposely working toward bringing the overall enrollment numbers down to the 2016 size — 21,306 students — by 2020.

According to a census released by Cal Poly, final enrollment numbers tallied 21,812 students in Fall 2018, dropping nearly 2 percent from Fall 2017.

In Fall 2017, 22,370 students enrolled at Cal Poly, forcing the university to quickly accommodate nearly 1,000 more students than expected. This year, there were 855 fewer freshman students compared to 2017, the final census data revealed. 

Despite the decrease in first year enrollment, the number of applicants for Fall 2018 admission was up 13 percent from 2016 with 48,609 applicants that year.

Cal Poly Total Student Enrollment Profile

For students currently applying to Cal Poly for Fall 2019, it is still undetermined how many students the university will accept.

According to University Spokesperson Matt Lazier, Cal Poly senior leadership has not yet adopted an overall enrollment target for next year.

“Generally, though, the university’s target numbers for new-student enrollment will be close to what was used for Fall 2018,” Lazier wrote in an email to Mustang News. “The university is operating in a ‘steady state’ for enrollment.”

The California State University (CSU) chancellor extended the Fall 2019 application period by two weeks due to wildfire circumstances, so the final number of applicants will not be accessible until the filing period is completed on Dec. 15.

Last fall, Cal Poly broke two admissions records with a record-high 65,000 applicants as well as a record-high average for admitted students’ GPA and test scores, according to Maraviglia.

The average GPA was a 4.13 with an average of 1407 on the SAT and a 30 on the ACT.

Despite their high scores, Maraviglia said the university turned away more than 10,000 first-time freshman applicants in 2017 who had weighted GPAs of 4.0 or higher, proving to be more competitive than years prior.

School officials said the all-time high applicant pool in Cal Poly history played a role in the high number of students who were not accepted for admission.

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