If you’re a CSU East Bay student, you’ve got a lot to be proud of. Not only are you part of the top 100 colleges in the country recognized for its diverse and multicultural student body, but you’ve also made it into one of the most competitive universities in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Just a year ago, when U.S. News and World Report released rankings about CSUEB, both the San Francisco Chronicle and The Pioneer reported on the impact this made on the way the university was viewed.
Based on acceptance of applicants in 2010, CSUEB was tied with UC Berkeley at a competitive rate of 22 percent enrollment. This placed CSUEB above UC Los Angeles (UCLA) as well as the University of Southern California (USC) in terms of competitiveness.
Although this story developed a little over a year ago, it continues to express continuous issues for enrollment at CSUEB, as budget cuts to the CSU system have forced CSUEB, along with many other CSUs to limit its enrollment campacity.
When news like the U.S. News and World Report get published, a confusing and misleading imprint is left on the minds of all those who read it, whether or not these findings are actually true. In this case, this ranking is deceiving and based on a technicality.
The San Francisco Chronicle article quotes Greg Smith, CSUEB associate vice president for enrollment, as amused and almost in disbelief over the statistic.
“How interesting!” Smith reported to the San Francisco Chronicle, who was attributed as “laughing.”
Smith told The Pioneer shortly after that his reaction to this statement was in no way condescending but “struck me as a kind of a question from left field.”
“The way the story was presented was CSUEB has now become more selective than UC Berkeley, and I guess I laughed in response to that because that’s not who we are, that’s not our mission to be more selective than UC Berkeley,” said Smith in November.
There’s no way CSUEB has become a more competitive college to get into than UC Berkeley and anyone who has applied to CSUEB knows that. The acceptance rate in 2010 at CSUEB was actually 33 percent, as Smith verified, over 10 percent higher what the U.S. News and World Report reported.
CSUEB has pushed forward their deadlines for applications in the fall, accelerating it by six months, however, they remain extremely flexible when working with students who miss those deadlines. This is why the actual percentage reported was inaccurate as they based their research statistics on students accepted by the initial deadline.
After this report was made public, many students who were Cal State bound expressed to The Pioneer they feared they wouldn’t be able to get into CSUEB, comparing its competitiveness to UC Berkeley. While the report did shine light on the quality of CSUEB as a college ranked in the nation, more than anything it created a wave of fear among potential students now sweating about getting accepted.
“I don’t want anyone out there thinking, ‘Oh I can’t go to CSUEB anymore because it’s as competitive as UC Berkeley.’ If that message were to get out there it would be a disaster,” said Smith.
While we should be proud about being ranked among best schools in the nation, we also need to be aware this report was based off of a statistical error and CSUEB is not as selective as Berkeley.
Meeting the high school requirements as well as maintaining a “C” average will do the job. With California budget cuts hitting the education systems the hardest, CSUEB has had to cut back significantly on their acceptance rates compared to 2009 when they accepted 73 percent of applicants.
CSUEB students past and present, faculty and administration have a lot to be proud of.
Our ‘Harvard on the Hill’ has been nationally recognized and ranked among other top schools. While it may be harder than ever to get into CSUs due to budget cuts state wide, CSUEB is still accepting eligible students with welcoming arms, and in the end, isn’t that the most important thing?
This entry was published in The Pioneer Online on Thursday, August 30th, 2012 at 11:40 am.