Perhaps it's of little surprise that the policy San Jose State University telegraphed with its last month, but now it's official: Staying local for college just got a little harder.
Officials at San Jose State University unveiled a new policy Tuesday ending the decades' long guarantee of admission to South Bay and lower Peninsula students who meet California State University requirements.
At the news conference on the San Jose State campus, University President Mohammad Qayoumi said steep state budget cuts are the reason for the school's new approach, in which local applicants not admitted to their preferred majors will be eligible for—but no longer guaranteed—admission as undeclared students.
University officials explained that all students applying to SJSU are required to note their first- and second-choice majors. Those who aren't accepted to those majors are bumped to the "undeclared" category.
The school will still have a "local area preference" policy in place, in which local applicants being considered as undeclared majors will have a lower admissions threshold than applicants from other areas, university officials said. The university will also be focusing on moving students who are already enrolled toward graduation more efficiently to make room for incoming students.
The school's new admissions guidelines, which were crafted after a number of public hearings, will be submitted to California State University Chancellor Charles Reed for approval. School officials said the new policy will "provide SJSU with tools to reduce enrollment," but noted that the change will not necessarily be permanent.
Had the policy been in effect for the fall of 2012, 1,400 local students who were accepted to the university would not have been admitted, said William Nance, the university's vice president of student affairs.
University spokeswoman Pat Lopes Harris said the school receives increasing numbers of applicants each year, and said the new policy is like "putting a spigot on a faucet."
San Jose State University enrolls about 30,000 students.
—Bay City News Service