San Jose State Prepares to Give Up Local Guarantee

Tim Goral's picture

The end is nigh for San Jose State's guaranteed admission for South Bay applicants.

Packed with students it can't afford, the university is preparing to end its promise to admit all qualified high-school graduates from Santa Clara County.

Instead, the school would give preference -- but not a guarantee -- to those students.

"The local-area guarantee is just not viable for the long term," said William Nance, the university's vice president for student affairs. "Where we are right now implements a commitment that is, frankly, a risk."

The university came close to ending the guarantee in the closing days of this year's admissions cycle, but university leaders decided against the idea in the eleventh hour. But with the California State University system facing hundreds of millions of dollars more in budget cuts this year, SJSU likely will no longer be an automatic admission for South Bay students.

The culprit is "impaction," the word used by Cal State officials to describe overcrowding. SJSU is one of five Cal State campuses -- the others are Long Beach, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, San Diego and Fullerton -- that have declared themselves impacted across all majors.

A 2010 law requires campuses to hold public hearings when they decide they are overcrowded. San Jose will hold three hearings in the South Bay this week.

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