The Chico State campus was booming with activity Monday as students made their way to classes for the start of the spring semester. More than 15,400 students were admitted for spring 2013. That's up roughly 200 from this time last year. To some that may seem like a very small boost, but the university's admissions director, Allan Bee, says it's a step in the right direction.
"With the turnaround in the economy that certainly helps. With the fact that we're not facing the threat of reduced funding from proposition 30. That all helps us to stay the course and try to maintain enrollment. So we're really encouraged that things are starting to look up," he says.
Chico State has been able to maintain a steady rate of enrollment for the past 3 years, and plans to continue with that trend. Bee says another goal for university staff has been to make sure students are getting the classes they need. Some students say this semester is noticeably different than years past.
"I actually only had one themed class and it was easy to get into, which I was surprised, (because) those are the ones that are usually packed. Everything has been smooth. This is probably the 1st semester it's actually been that way for me," says senior Avery Dees.
For others it continues to be a struggle to find an open seat.
Chico State sophomore Lauren Portnoy says, "I think it was more difficult to be honest. I'm going into my upper division classes so I'm on wait lists right now for 2 of my classes and I don't know if I'm going to get into them."
With more than 26,000 applications in already for the fall semester, Bee says their next challenge is to decide where to set the limit for enrollment to ensure classes aren't impacted. Based on the number of applications received for next semester, Chico State officials say they are seeing a 9% increase in the number of freshmen, and a 15% boost for transfer applicants.