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."
Escondido Union High
Fallbrook Union High
Lake Elsinore Unified
Murrieta Valley Unified
San Marcos Unified
Temecula Valley Unified
Valley Center-Pauma 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.
Hagg said of the 3,000 students it will accept for next fall, all but a few will be 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.