President J. Michael Ortiz

I am writing to inform you of a significant change concerning freshman enrollment for fall 2004. Following consultation with several constituencies on campus, we have requested and received approval from the Chancellor's Office to impact the campus for freshman applications beginning with fall 2004.

As you may be aware, the California State University has had to reduce the Full Time Equivalent Students (FTES) enrollment targets for all campuses effective with this 2003-04 year. This action was the result of the significant budget reductions passed by the state legislature.

In addition, the CSU has mandated a no-growth year for 2004-05 in anticipation of additional budget reductions in state funding. Campuses have been advised that a financial penalty will be assessed should enrollment targets for 2003-04 and/or 2004-05 be exceeded.

Our campus has taken several actions to meet but not exceed our 2003-04 target. Admissions for fall and winter were reduced significantly, and admission to the campus was closed to all students for spring 2004.

Looking ahead to 2004-05 and the projected increase in undergraduate student demand, we anticipate that we will receive more admission applications than we can accommodate within our current campus capacity and resources. The largest percent of this increase is in freshman applications as a result of the dramatic increase in the number of California high school graduates (Tidal Wave II).

Our first priority is to maintain the quality of our academic programs and services so that our current and prospective students can proceed to graduation in a timely manner. We have implemented all other CSU recommended steps to manage our enrollment, and impaction is our only alternative at this time. Without impaction, the university would risk enrolling 1,000 more freshmen than we can accommodate.

It is important to note that the impaction policy and process refers ONLY to freshmen and does NOT include transfer, credential or graduate students.

Impaction Policy/Process
Freshmen from high schools within our local service area (as defined below) will continue to be admitted based on existing CSU requirements.

Freshmen applicants from high schools outside our local service area will be admitted based on CSU requirements and supplemental criteria. Applicants will be rank-ordered by an eligibility index based on grade point average and test scores. The eligibility index cut-off for applicants outside our local service area will be determined by the size and academic characteristics of the freshman applicant pool and may vary from year to year.

In addition, approximately 10 percent of the freshman class may be admitted based on rank-ordered eligibility index and additional criteria (socioeconomic or educational factors, availability in a unique program or major, indications of overcoming educational obstacles, exceptional talents).

All freshman applicants (local and non-local) must complete the ACT or SATI no later than December 2003 and the Office of Admissions & Outreach must receive all test scores no later than January 2004. All admitted students who are required to take the EPT and/or ELM placements tests must take the required tests no later than May 2004.

Our campus impaction plan is designed to provide sufficient flexibility to hopefully mitigate any significant impact on specific academic programs and/or any specific student groups. We will work closely with the colleges as admission decisions are made to ensure a balance among the different colleges and academic programs. We will also continue to monitor the impact on historically underrepresented students and other specified student groups.

Designation of Local Area
The following criteria were used to designate high schools within our local area:

  1. Schools designated by the Chancellor's Office as our service area high schools
  2. Schools with a historical relationship with our campus
  3. Schools that reside in the same school district as schools from #1 or #2
  4. Located in a contiguous geographic area
  5. To reach a target of 65 percent of enrolled first-time freshmen

Our local area includes 88 public and 11 private/parochial schools and a listing is available at by clicking on First-Time Freshmen Impaction Update.

Special Note Regarding Architecture
Architecture continues to be impacted at the program level and all Architecture candidates must meet regular CSU admission criteria as well as the additional standards required by the Department of Architecture. These requirements are available through the Department of Architecture Web site. The program impaction for Architecture supersedes the campus

level freshman impaction requirements. Therefore, no distinction is made between Architecture applicants from the local and non-local areas.

Expected Outcomes
While impaction presents short-term challenges, we believe that the following outcomes will be achieved. The campus will:

  • Meet but not exceed the 2004-05 FTES target
  • Avoid financial penalties for exceeding the FTES target
  • Continue to provide access to students in our local area based on existing CSU requirements
  • Reduce freshman enrollment to restore balance with and facilitate admissions for other class levels (i.e., upper division transfers, credentials, graduates) as well as create a balance among entering students across large and small programs
  • Restore admissions for all terms (i.e., fall, winter, spring and summer) for upper division transfer, credential and graduate students
  • Improve the academic profile of the entering freshman class
  • Minimize the potential impact on access to historically underrepresented students and other specified student groups.

Communication and Information
We will keep the campus informed as we proceed through the next few months.

It will be very important that we clearly communicate this change to our prospective students, their parents and the high school community. The delivery of our impaction message is critical as we want students from both local and non-local areas to continue to apply for admission. We do not want prospective students to self-select out of the admissions process for fear that Cal Poly Pomona is too difficult or that they will not be admitted.

The Admissions & Outreach staff have a communication plan in place to inform the high school community, prospective students and a wide range of external and internal constituents. You may refer prospective students with questions to the Admissions & Outreach Web site. Students may get detailed information by clicking First-Time Freshman Impaction Update at

We want to be responsive to any concerns or questions you may have about this impaction. Please direct questions or concerns to Tomás Morales, Gary Fredericksen, Kathy Street, Bob Charles or George Bradshaw.

J. Michael Ortiz