Cal Poly Pomona has received a record-high number of applications from those vying for a spot at the university this fall.
The university saw a 21% jump in applications — the highest in the California State University system.
In total, 49,624 potential first-year students submitted applications as of Dec. 15, up from 41,126 in 2021. Combining applications from both first-year and transfer students brings the total to 64,281, another university record, for the third consecutive year.
“The rise in applications is a testament to Cal Poly Pomona’s strong reputation for quality education infused with hands-on learning experiences,” said Brandon Tuck, director of admissions, in a news release.
All students will receive an admissions decision by Friday, April 1, according to Cal Poly Pomona officials.
The university’s acceptance 2021 rate for first-year students was 61%, according to spokeswoman Cynthia Peters.
The increase in applicants follows a trend throughout the CSU system, which saw a 3% increase in applications for fall 2022 compared to 2021, according to preliminary reporting, CSU’s public affairs manager Hazel Kelly wrote in an email this week.
The CSU system — which has 23 campuses and educates about 477,000 students — saw 830,222 total applications as of Dec. 15, up from 794,353 the same time the previous year. A significant increase came in freshman applications, 608,569 total, a jump from 538,002 in 2021.
The spike in freshman applications throughout the CSU system can be attributed to many factors, Kelly wrote, pointing mostly to increased outreach during the pandemic.
Campuses “made a concerted effort to hold virtual application workshops, one-on-one meetings and in-person application sessions, whenever possible,” Kelly wrote. There was also the implementation of online tools to helps applicants with questions dealing with admissions and financial aid.
Meanwhile, CSU transfer applications declined 13.5% to 221,653 this year, including an 11% decline at Pomona. Kelly cited the coronavirus pandemic as the reason for the decline.
“Enrollment managers attribute the decrease to students having to prioritize obligations such as caring for children or other relatives or finding it necessary to work additional hours,” Kelly wrote.
Similarly, the University of California saw a record number of applications for the 2022 fall semester. In total, 210,840 freshman applications were received, a 3.5% increase from fall 2021.
Throughout the nine-campus system, the proportion of California freshman applicants and community college transfer applicants from low-income families grew this year to 46% and 56% respectively, data shows.
“The University of California remains an institution of choice for so many hardworking prospective undergraduates,” said President Michael V. Drake in a news release last month. “This diverse group of students has shown their commitment to pursuing higher education and we are thrilled they want to join us at UC.”
A factor in the application numbers could be tied to the removal of standardized test requirements
In 2020, the UC system suspended SAT and ACT requirements through 2024 and eliminate them for California students by 2025. On March 22, the CSU announced it would follow suite.
However, the CSU hasn’t used tests for admissions since 2020, when it began a two-year suspension because of limited access to the tests during the pandemic.
The CSU is currently “not seeing a correlation between that and application numbers to date,” Kelly wrote.
That’s in contrast with what Cal Poly Pomona officials say may be a factor.
Dropping the SAT “likely had an impact,” Tuck wrote, “since the elimination of the SAT means that more students feel like they have a chance of being admitted.”