CSUN census reveals over enrollment, campus to face at least $2 million penalty

Tanya Ramirez

Correction: “The governor does not issue the penalties – the CSU does. In June, the state budget is adopted by the governor, and the CSU receives its budget for the year. At that time, the CSU will assess how much each campus will receive in funding (including any deductions from over/under enrollment),” said Stephanie Thara, CSU spokeswoman.

CSUN may face a penalty of $2 to $2.5 million from the CSU for exceeding its enrollment target, according to Cynthia Rawitch, CSUN vice provost.

“The bad news is we’re over-enrolled,” Rawitch said. “The good news is our penalty is not as massive as originally intended.”

In Fall 2011, CSUN exceeded its target enrollment by 6.3 percent, which led to the CSU threat of a $7 million penalty. CSUs were allowed a penalty pardon if over-enrolled by 3 percent, but according to CSUN’s Spring 2012 census, released Feb. 17, CSUN, is currently over this target by 1.4 percent.

The census also revealed more students are currently enrolled in 12 or more units this spring than in either of the previous two spring terms. The average unit load for students is at 11 units.

“Our goal was to get students and graduating seniors the classes they needed and we managed to do that,” Rawitch said.

According to the census, there are 26,271 full-time equivalent students enrolled at CSUN for the spring semester, with an FTES percentage of 104.4 percent. FTES is a calculation broken down by units to determine student funding. One FTES is based on 15 units, meaning one student with six units and another with nine are added together to make one full-time student. Any combination of units to equal 15 units is one FTES.

“Over-enrollment is a concern for many CSU campuses right now,” said Stephanie Thara, CSU spokeswoman. “But the penalty decision will not be known until the governor reviews the budget.”

Thara said Gov. Jerry Brown will review the CSU budget in July, and whether or not he will issue penalties will be decided at that time.

Rawitch said the 15 unit restriction will continue into the fall semester, and to provide more seat availability for continuing students, CSUN will only admit about 4,500 freshman.

“Penalties come annually,” Rawitch said. “They may reappear in the following school year, but I do not expect that to happen to CSUN.”