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Stan State, CSU still trying to rebound from post-COVID enrollment dips
Stan State students
Stanislaus State saw 9,845 students enrolled through this past December, a decrease from 11,164 in the fall of 2020 (Photo contributed).

Enrollment is still down at campuses across the California State University (CSU) system, including at Stanislaus State, according to the most recent CSU enrollment report published by the Campaign for College Opportunity, as well as Stan State’s institutional database.

The enrollment report states that there are at least 28,000 fewer students enrolled between the 23 CSU campuses since 2019 — a near 6% dropoff. At Stanislaus State, data is current up to the fall 2023 semester and shows that there were 9,845 students enrolled through this past December, a decrease from 11,164 in the fall of 2020.

The report also showed that Stanislaus State was one of nine CSU campuses to lose enrollment in each of the three measured student groups: first-time freshman, transfer students and continuing students.

As a result of the continued low enrollment, the number of graduates at Stanislaus State has also seen a slight decrease. By the end of the latest commencement ceremonies in May, 2,667 students earned degrees compared to 2,831 and 2,835 in the previous two academic years, respectively. 

While the numbers are low, there is optimism at Stan State considering its enrollment has increased since the spring 2023 semester, where just 9,392 students were taking classes either in-person or remotely.

The CSU as a whole has taken steps to increase enrollment and graduation. 

In November, Stanislaus State secured a $3 million Title III grant from the U.S. Department of Education. With the funds, the school launched the Pandemic Recovery with Equity (PRE) Initiative, which hopes to restore its enrollment, retention and completion rates to pre-pandemic levels. The initiative will expand Stan State’s capacity to support low-income and underrepresented students, ensuring more equitable educational opportunities for academic success.

The funds from the grant are being used to achieve specific goals, such as providing guidance to all first-year students, implementing a campuswide early alert system for faculty to share concerns about a student, revising educational planning tools and integrating mental health and career services into first year advising. Also, at the start of every fall semester, incoming first-year students are now being assigned to an advisor to receive support about advising and connecting with campus services. Additionally, Academic Affairs recently hired an associate vice president for strategic enrollment management to focus on scheduling and course enrollment management.

As for the CSU, they are continuing to move forward with their Graduation Initiative 2025, which was launched in 2015. As part of the initiative to increase graduation rates, the CSU has constructed a list of six operational priorities: Academic Preparation, Enrollment Management, Student Engagement and Well-Being, Financial Support, Data-Informed Decision Making and Removing Administrative Barriers. Details on each priority can be found at