As admission standards rise, Fresno State becomes more competitive

FRESNO, Calif. - As the Valley continues to grow, so does the population at Fresno State.

The university has been the go-to college for locals, for generations.

We took a look at how the college has become more competitive to get in and what it means for the Valley.

Fresno State has top athletes, in basketball and football, and known for its agriculture.

The centrally located CSU has been the go-to for so many around the Valley.

"It's one of the most economically viable programs that you can send a student to and they offer so many great majors," Jay Center, a guidance learning director at Clovis North High School, said.

Like engineering or nursing.

"I know at Fresno State they have the best nursing program in the CSU system but it's also very competitive," Maddie Garza, a senior at Clovis North High School, said.

Competitive, is right!

Fresno State said just last year they had around 18,000 applications for freshmen, over 7,000 for transfers.

"People resonate with the pride and the spirit and the tradition of Fresno State and so they want to be a part of it," Frank Lamas, vice president of student affairs and enrollment management at Fresno State, said.

But of all that apply, Fresno State said only about 3,500 freshmen and 1800 to 2,000 transfers make it in for the fall term.

"What happens is that the demand becomes higher than the supply of spaces that we have for both freshmen and transfers," Lamas said.

So, over the last four years the university has upped its GPA and Index requirements for future bulldogs in Fresno State's territory of Fresno, Madera, Tulare and Kings Counties.

For freshmen it's the Index, a combination of their grades, SAT's/ ACT's and more. Fresno State it's gone up from a 2900 to a 3200.

The GPA for transfer students has gone from a 2.0 to a 2.3, now they must have a 2.6.

"I think the fact that it did go up is also reflective of the fact that students are doing better and so it's more competitive," Amanda Thomas, transfer counselor at Fresno City College, said.

But admission requirements are ever changing.

"We want to make sure that we're on track with in terms of graduating and also in terms of meeting those CSU requirements," Center said.

Some high schools said they start prepping students in their area as early as 7th grade.

"We go over what are those requirements to get into a four-year university, what do you really have to pay attention to," Center said.

Most local K-12 schools said they have a partnership with Fresno state, where reps go out to the campus once a week and answer questions for students.

Community colleges said they worked with the CSU's to create associate degrees for transfers.

"It's really specifically designed to kind of move students right into their major so that their lower division major preparation is done as part of their associates degree," Thomas said.

Another thing Fresno State is doing to help transfer students succeed. 

Starting this fall, they'll be doing away with remedial courses, which officials said keep students in college longer and said the classes basically don't count toward students degree.

"It's a very good move on the part of the CSU to move in this direction because time to degree and money to degree will be reduced for our students," Lamas said.

Fresno State said GPA and Index requirements will remain higher for those applying from outside areas.

Officials said students within the four counties will continue to have first priority. 

But, they'll still have to work a little harder to rise above the rest.

"It's an honor to get into Fresno State and it's not just a given, you have to really work hard and put your time and your effort in," Thomas said.

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