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CSU San Marcos Expands Program To Offer Local Students Guaranteed Admission


Cal State University San Marcos is expanding its offer of guaranteed admission to students from local school districts who meet certain standards. The policy is designed to motivate more San Diego students to aim for college.

CSUSM is giving local students top priority in a tough admissions market. University President Karen Haynes says the college gets more than 9,000 applications for 1,500 freshman places each year.

She says CSU San Marcos has signed agreements with several local school districts including Escondido, San Marcos and, most recently, Oceanside.

“It takes students from these places where we’ve have partnership agreements and puts them at the top of admission,” Haynes said. “ If they follow the path successfully, they will be guaranteed admission."

Haynes said even if the students who enter the college-track programs do not eventually chose to attend CSU San Marcos, they will get focused on college earlier and are more likely to succeed.

She says the districts that have joined the program have made great strides in changing the culture in their schools.

“Part of it,“ she said, “was saying with great clarity, here are the pathways to college and giving some incentive, in terms of guaranteed admission. Improving the educational attainment rate in our service region is a game changer. One by one we transform lives, but through these partnerships we transform the region. “

Haynes said 42 percent of the student population at CSU San Marcos are first-generation college students. Almost half of admissions are from North County schools.

San Diego State University entered a similar agreement with the Sweetwater School District, which has more than doubled enrollments of students from the South Bay.

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