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San Jose State University Limiting Transfer Students

By CityTownInfo.com Staff
October 6, 2009

About 1,300 California community college students who planned to transfer to San Jose State University have been denied admission because of budget cuts that are sharply limiting enrollment.

"I struggled between work, family, friends and school," said Edesa Betkolia, a communications student at West Valley College who was planning to transfer to SJSU and was quoted in The Chronicle of Higher Education. "I somehow managed it. I took winter-session classes, I took summer-session classes. I overloaded. And all of a sudden [SJSU] is just not accepting any students."

In California, transfer students from two-year colleges make up nearly half of those who graduate from California State University or the University of California with bachelor's degrees. But when Cal State announced in June that enrollment would need to be cut back by 40,000 students, most of its campuses were forced to close admissions during the spring, when transfer students generally arrive. San Jose State--part of the CSU system--lost nearly 2,500 full-time student slots as a result.

Betkolia expects that she will drop out of school in the spring to work full time, and then apply to San Jose State again for the fall semester of 2010. "I honestly hate that," she admitted. "I'd rather be a student full time until I get my degree, and not have to work. But I guess that if there's really no other option, I have to."

But officials caution that leaving college can be problematic for students who have completed two years of transfer requirements. In such cases students often must return to community colleges to complete more courses, and they no longer receive priority when signing up for missed courses.

"There's a lot to be said for continuous enrollment," said Judy C. Miner, president of the two-year Foothill College. She noted that when students drop out, "it is so easy to just be attracted to other ways of spending your time."

Other students facing the same situation are even considering changing their majors in order to transfer to other schools which may not offer the same course selections, reports the Skyline View, the student publication of Skyline College, a two-year community college.

"With so many excellent schools right around the corner, we've always had a wide selection," notes the Skyline View. "But now the question has changed from 'What school do I want?' to 'What school will actually be taking new students?'"

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