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Access & Timely Graduation for Diverse Students

Continued Commitment to
ACCESS & TIMELY GRADUATION FOR DIVERSE STUDENTS

CSU Long Beach is committed to student access to higher education and equally committed to ensuring all students are successful in their higher education journey. In the last two decades, the application volume has increased to the current level of over 71,000 first-time freshmen applicants. CSULB is the 8th most applied to university in the United States and most applied to in the CSU system. The Underrepresented Minority (URM) enrollment has increased by over 40% during this period, while the non-minority enrollment has remained unchanged. Currently, 54% of the enrolled class are URMs. For the first time in campus history, the Minority (URM) students are the majority population.

CSULB admits all qualified students who apply from the local area high schools. This local access guarantees access to higher education for any local student. While CSULB is committed to access to higher education pathways, it is equally committed to timely degree completion. The six-year and four-year graduation rates have improved over the past decade for all ethnic groups. The university average for six-year graduation rate has increased from mid 40% to a historic high of close to 73%. The four-year rates have risen from 14% to 37%. These success rates are a collective effort by the entire campus community who hold student success as a central campus mission.

Application Landscape

Southern California is rich in diversity and high in population density, and this is reflected in our application pool. California State University—Long Beach is among the top ten universities in the nation that receives the most first-year applications. Over the past two decades, the application volume has increased from 44,000 in 2006 to current levels exceeding 71,000. During this tremendous growth period, the ethnic makeup of the applicants is changing rapidly. The White applicants have decreased from 28% to 16%, and the African American applicants have also declined from 8% to 5%. The Hispanic applicants have increased from 33% to 47%, while the Asian applicants have remained steady at 20%. This change in the ethnicity landscape is reflected in our campus admission pipeline.

Freshmen Applicant Race/Ethnicity Trend

Ethnic Group Fall 2006 Fall 2007 Fall 2008 Fall 2009 Fall 2010 Fall 2011 Fall 2012 Fall 2013 Fall 2014 Fall 2015 Fall 2016 Fall 2017 Fall 2018 Fall 2019
American Indian or
Alaska Native
276 270 296 105 103 96 91 100 98 97 102 86 83 93
Asian 8,892 9,236 9,136 8,123 9,082 9,190 10,267 10,429 11,024 11,206 11,655 11,771 13,789 13,063
Black or
African American
3,437 3,717 4,091 2,919 3,020 3,076 3,229 2,991 2,687 2,738 3,003 2,714 3,196 3,236
Hispanic / Latino 13,428 14,910 17,928 17,691 18,963 21,448 24,423 24,956 25,332 25,691 28,700 29,408 32,847 33,434
Native Hawaiian 276 270 296 105 103 96 91 100 98 97 102 86 83 93
Two or More Races       2,222 2,318 2,574 2,734 2,581 2,737 2,835 2,851 3,065 3,207 3,283
Unknown 2,790 2,855 2,929 1,662 1,451 1,270 1,318 1,268 1,272 1,518 1,717 1,592 1,315 1,140
Visa Non-US 1,245 1,323 1,098 1,308 1,332 1,548 2,175 3,602 3,347 3,465 2,975 3,475 3,595 5,445
White 12,394 12,536 12,684 11,582 11,227 10,438 10,586 9,809 9,716 9,270 9,585 9,534 11,309 11,393

Underrepresented Minority Admission at a Historic High

This increase in applications has been primarily attributed to growth in the underrepresented minority (URM) applicant pool. Even though URM includes African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, and Native Hawaiians, the change is primarily to Hispanics' increases. The URM applications  have increased by 37% (from 39K to 54K), while the non-URM pool (Figure 3) has only increased by 14% (from 35K to 40K). 

To accommodate the increase in the applicant pool, CSULB has increased new student enrollment by 22% (from 8K to 10K). This enrollment growth is due primarily to efficiencies attained by the increase in graduation rates through the GI2025 initiatives. The URM enrollment during this period has increased by over 40% (from 3.4K to 4.9K), while the non-minority enrollment has remained unchanged at approximately 4K. Currently, 54% of the enrolled class are Underrepresented Minorities.

Underrepresented Minority Applications time

Semester Total Applied Total Admitted Total Enrolled
Fall 2014 39,332 10,817 3,434
Fall 2015 40,425 10,554 3,521
Fall 2016 45,745 11,632 3,773
Fall 2017 46,783 11,034 3,851
Fall 2018 52,356 13,525 4,432
Fall 2019 54,064 17,139 4,924

Non-Underrepresented Minority Applications Enrolled over time

Semester Total Applied Total Admitted Total Enrolled
Fall 2014 35,837 15,764 3,962
Fall 2015 35,543 14,675 3,793
Fall 2016 36,702 14,695 3,516
Fall 2017 36,899 13,660 3,317
Fall 2018 42,024 16,623 3,987
Fall 2019 40,903 19,438 4,035

Underrepresented Minority Campus Population at a Historic High

The total campus enrollment has increased from 37,700 to 39,400 over the past four years (2016 to 2020). This increase is a strategic initiative to improve access. CSULB admits ALL local qualified students. Hence, this increase does not change the number of local students. It increases opportunities for non-local applicants outside the immediate area.

Over the past four years, the Hispanic/Latino population has steadily increased to the current levels of 46%, while all other ethnicities have declined slightly. The Minority (URM) population was 44.4% in 2016, and this has steadily increased to a 50% in 2020.  For the first time in campus history, the Minority (URM) students are the majority population.

Campus Population by Race/Ethnicity

Ethnic Group 2016 (percent) 2020 (percent)
American Indian or
Alaska Native
0.18 0.10
Asian 22.46 20.74
Black or
African American
3.95 3.78
Hispanic /
Latino
40.30 46.11
Native Hawaiian 0.22 0.24
Two or More Races 4.94 4.62
Unknown 3.46 2.32
Visa Non-US 6.63 5.88
White 17.86 16.22

Total Campus Enrollment: 2016 = 37,700, 2020 = 39,400

Campus Population by Minority Status

Minority Status 2016 (percent) 2020 (percent)
Unknown 3.46 2.32
Minority 44.42 49.99
Non-Minority 45.48 41.82
Visa Non-US 6.63 5.88

Guaranteed Access to Local Underserved Population

CSULB admits all qualified students who apply from the local area high schools. This local access guarantees access to higher education for any local student. The majority of the freshmen African American and Hispanic students have access to CSULB through this unique program. Giving preference to all local students who apply from the high schools surrounding the campus is a strategic priority for CSULB. CSULB defines local based on high school of origin for incoming First-Time Freshmen and Transfers. The geographic boundaries used to determine local area high schools for first-year students are also used to determine incoming transfers' local preference. 

To see a current geographic representation of the local preference area, along with a list of schools and districts, please visit: http://www.csulb.edu/admissions/local-preference-admission-consideration 

Double Admissions to Historically Challenged Applicants Effective Fall 2021 

CSULB will double its efforts to increase admission based on a holistic review. The application process targets communities based on low socioeconomic status and applicants who historically have low college-going rates. These students typically do not do well in standardized tests. Hence, we encourage targeted freshmen applicants to submit materials for a holistic review. 

Holistic review is a collaborative effort between Enrollment Services and The Office of Outreach and School Relations, called Beach Pathways. The applications are reviewed by a committee, including representatives from Outreach, Educational Opportunities, Disabled Student Services, Student Services, Academic Affairs, and faculty. Admissions criteria include the potential for degree completion, community involvement/leadership, and overcoming significant hardship. All applicants must meet CSULB minimum eligibility. Typically, we allow for 200 applicants through this admission process. Effective Fall 2021, we will double our efforts to target 400 applicants.  

Continued Progress in Graduation Rates for all Ethnicities

While CSULB is committed to access to higher education pathways, it is equally committed to timely degree completion with significant progress in six-year and four-year graduation rates.

Six-Year Graduation Rates: Over the past decade, the CSULB has made significant progress. The overall university six-year graduation rates (Figure 5) have improved from mid 40% to 73%. This progress is seen across all ethnic groups. Asian and Hispanic populations have made over 20% gains over the past decade. At the same time, the Black/African American and Visa Non-US populations have made close to 18% gains. The American Indian/Alaska Natives and Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islanders have made minimal gains, and these populations are also less than 0.2% or less than ten students per cohort.

Six-Year Graduation Rates by Ethnicity

Graduation Year American Indian or
Alaska Native
Asian Black or
African American
Hispanic / Latino Native Hawaiian or
Other Pacific Islander
Two or More Races Unknown Visa Non-U.S. White
2011 44.80% 55.60% 44.50% 48.70% 52.90%   54.90% 53.20% 58.80%
2012 55.60% 58.80% 49.80% 49.80% 47.60%   59.10% 52.60% 60.00%
2013 47.40% 59.90% 45.20% 49.90% 42.50%   64.10% 55.70% 67.70%
2014 57.70% 65.80% 51.40% 56.70% 58.80%   66.50% 65.10% 69.80%
2015 100.00% 70.00% 63.20% 64.00% 25.00% 61.20% 61.90% 57.30% 73.40%
2016 50.00% 71.90% 58.90% 64.60% 37.50% 70.20% 80.20% 66.90% 72.90%
2017 75.00% 73.90% 52.80% 65.50% 44.40% 67.50% 67.00% 67.80% 72.30%
2018 28.60% 71.50% 60.30% 68.00% 45.50% 69.50% 71.90% 64.50% 72.70%
2019 60.00% 76.70% 69.40% 71.60% 50.00% 75.30% 71.90% 67.30% 76.00%
2020 50.00% 80.30% 62.50% 70.30% 50.00% 71.60% 71.40% 71.00% 72.40%

Four-Year Graduation Rates: CSULB has also made significant progress in four-year graduation rates over the past decade. The overall university four-year graduation rates (Figure 6) have improved from around 14% to 37%. This progress is seen across all ethnic groups. Asian and White populations have made close to 30% gains over the past decade. Simultaneously, the Black/African American and Visa Non-US populations have made close to 15% gains. The Hispanics have made close to 26% gain. American Indian/Alaska Natives and Natives and Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islanders show significant variations. However, these populations are also less than 0.2% or less than ten students per cohort. 

Four-Year Graduation Rates by Ethnicity

Graduation Year American Indian or Alaska Native Asian Black or African American Hispanic/Latino Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander Two or More Races Unknown Visa Non-U.S. White
2009 10.30% 7.60% 10.70% 8.90% 11.80%   16.80% 16.10% 17.80%
2010 11.10% 10.20% 14.50% 9.60% 9.50%   13.60% 13.60% 17.30%
2011 10.50% 10.10% 12.70% 11.20% 12.50%   14.80% 18.60% 20.30%
2012 15.40% 9.60% 10.60% 9.10% 32.40%   14.50% 12.30% 19.30%
2013 50.00% 15.00% 12.30% 11.50% 0.00% 18.90% 21.40% 19.70% 23.70%
2014 0.00% 12.10% 10.50% 11.70% 6.30% 21.40% 18.20% 22.00% 23.20%
2015 0.00% 16.50% 8.00% 12.10% 22.20% 20.10% 21.60% 28.10% 22.70%
2016 28.60% 16.60% 12.80% 13.00% 18.20% 18.80% 24.00% 20.10% 24.10%
2017 40.00% 24.80% 23.60% 22.00% 12.50% 27.10% 27.00% 26.00% 34.50%
2018 33.30% 29.40% 22.10% 23.50% 10.00% 38.00% 27.60% 27.50% 36.80%
2019 28.60% 34.60% 26.20% 30.60% 15.40% 36.10% 35.80% 30.70% 43.20%
2020 57.10% 40.00% 25.80% 34.50% 33.30% 35.50% 40.30% 33.20% 46.20%