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Cal State San Marcos Sees 20 Percent Jump In Applicants

Photo by Alison St John / KPBS

Above: California State University San Marcos campus, Feb. 4, 2016.

Cal State San Marcos saw the highest jump in applications among the C-S-U campuses this year. Since 2015, the campus has seen a 20 percent increase in prospective students.

At more than 16,000, the number of applicants to Cal State San Marcos has grown more than 20 percent since 2015. Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management Services Scott Hagg said it was the largest jump in the CSU system this year.

The reason, he said, is simple. "Our commitment to North County San Diego."

Districts With Guaranteed Admission to Cal State San Marcos

Carlsbad Unified

Escondido Union High

Fallbrook Union High

Lake Elsinore Unified

Murrieta Valley Unified

Oceanside Unified

San Marcos Unified

Temecula Valley Unified

Valley Center-Pauma Unified

Vista Unified

One of the youngest CSU campuses — it was founded in 1988 — San Marcos has banked less on Southern California allure and more on bringing in students from northern San Diego and Riverside counties.

It offers guaranteed admission to students who are CSU-eligible in 10 nearby school districts.

"So that they can stay close to their families, their friends, their jobs and then take part in the amazing opportunities that we have here and with the companies that are nearby," Hagg said. "And then stay here after graduation."

Many of Cal State San Marcos' students don't have the financial means to leave home for college. More than 70 percent receive financial aid, and more than half who graduate from the college are first-generation college students.

RELATED: Number Of Minority Applicants To UC San Diego Rises

Hagg said of the 3,000 students it will accept for next fall, all but a few will be local.

At the county’s other, larger CSU — San Diego State University — about half of those admitted each year are local.

Interest in SDSU held relatively steady this year; it received more than 83,000 applications for the fall.

Acceptance letters start going out this month.

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