Only applying to SDSU

My daughter is a senior and she only wants to attend SDSU (mine and my husband’s alma mater). She had a bad semester in 10th grade and her CSU GPA is now 3.43 (10 - 11). (She thought she only wanted to attend a community college first until last year). She is currently taking 3 concurrent enrollment classes, will take 3 more spring 2021, and has already completed 11 transferable college units and 4 non-transferable units. By the time she graduates she will have completed 31 transferable college units. I believe she will be applying as a Communications Major. SDSU is not our local CSU.

Her backup plan is to move to San Diego and attend a local community college for a year and then try to transfer in as a junior.

I know her admission chances at SDSU are low. Any thoughts from anyone in the know? Thanks!

Average CSU GPA for admitted students in 2019 was a 3.97 and 2020 data not yet available. Since she is not local, then her chances are not great especially with the CSU’s being test blind this admission cycle. GPA is going to be the major factor in the admission decisions along with HS major prep class grades although her HS course rigor looks very good.

College admissions is going to be very unpredictable this admission cycle. Also HS students change their mind often, so it might be worth making some effort to have her apply to a couple other schools like CSU San Marcos, CSU Long Beach, CSU Fullerton and her local CSU just in case.

I would say that if she is content with attending a community college and transferring as a Junior, then at least she has a backup plan. Although local CC students get priority in the transfer process, it is still not a guarantee.

In 2018, SDSU had 1018 applicants for the Communication Studies major and admitted 412 so the acceptance rate was 40% acceptance rate. Like all CSU’s, SDSU will rank the applicant by their major so it will really depend upon how she ranks with the other Communication majors.

Best of luck to her.

She may want to also apply to Northridge.
Remember that rents in San Diego are high.

None of the SD County Community Colleges have on-campus housing, but may be able to help refer to local apartment complexes.

This isn’t gong to make me popular but, she’s a 16/17 year old kid and doesn’t have a clue what she’s ruling out by being so myopic. It is also too early to make that decision. At this point, you should guide her to also apply to several schools that have a cool freshman experience decent academics and that she’s likely to get into.

SDSU as a freshman is really unlikely. Even as a local transfer, it is a really hard admit. The likely outcome of her heading down to SD without the traditional dorm/meal plan/freshman life is not a timely transfer to SDSU. I certainly wouldn’t co-sign on a lease to facilitate it. That shows the application, admission and transfer GPA trend over time.

She has a decent GPA and has lots of options. Chico, Sonoma, UNR, fit that bill and are worth aps and an objective look. San Marcos, Northridge, Fullerton CPP and maybe CSULB have less of a dorm concentration, but are in So Cal and have solid academics and are really like;y to say yes. In addition to applying to SDSU which is likely to say NO.

I basically compelled both of my kids to apply to more schools than they wanted to. Both happily attended schools they ruled out earlier in the process as they learned about the opportunities there.

Trust me, having several doors open come spring is going to be a good thing. A CC will still be an option If she gets into several of those schools. In March/Apr you can choose a path that makes sense for both of you.

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Thank you for your honest input. We live in Mammoth Lakes, a small resort town, so she really wants to go for a big school away from here. I think I will encourage her to apply to a few CSU’s in case she changes her mind.

@OhHeyLady: CSU Bakersfield looks like your local CSU based on the service area matrix:

I do not blame her for wanting something different but growing up in Mammoth, must have been an incredible experience. My family has been going to the area on our camping vacations for 30 years and loved the time we have spent there. So many great memories.

I guess the grass is greener…

The largest Cal states based on student enrollment are as follows:
CSU Fullerton
CSU Long Beach
San Diego State
San Francisco State
San Jose State
Sacramento State

Best of luck to her and hopefully she heeds everyone’s advice.

Update - My daughter submitted her CSU apply application this week. When we went to submit it, the program caught that my daughter was re-taking a college class, it had us go back and change the “D” grade to “RP” which helped raise her GPA. She applied as a Communication major.

GPA - 3.84
a-g classes - 30.5 years
College units completed: 22 units
In progress - 10 units
Planned for spring - 8 units

She still only wants to attend SDSU, but she did apply to CSU Long Beach also. Her stats now seem like she may have more of a chance. What do you all think?

For SDSU 2020 admissions, General Communications at 868 applicants and admitted 383 which makes it a 44% acceptance rate.

Although her GPA is below the average Campus GPA, she is within range.

For CSULB, the average 2019 admit GPA for Communications was 3.83 so she is on target with her GPA.

CSULB is using a revised Index to rank applicants this year since test scores are not a consideration. Since there is no historical data for this index, it is difficult to determine what will be competitive.

** The CSULB Index for CSULB ranking is calculated as follows:

(College Preparatory Grade Point Average* X 200) + (500 x HS Math Subject GPA) + (500 x HS English GPA). **

As long as she has a community college as a backup, applying to 2 schools only in this highly unpredictable admissions year is going to be challenging.

Gumbymom, how would a person link to the admissions statistics by major you reference above? Thank you.

@bbunce. See my PM and it is 2019 data. 2020 data not listed.

I’m glad your daughter followed her dream and applied to SDSU. It is a tough school to get admitted, I know because this is my third time applying! About her moving to San Diego and taking classes there, it is a great idea because they preference local applications BUT only if they take ALL their college classes at a local college. Since she took come classes already, this may not work for her. I would suggest you call and talk to an admission counselor. Good luck to ya’ll.

I grew up down the road from @OhHeyLady (several decades ago) and I remember the dilemma of which Cal State to attend when the closest one is 4+ hours drive away.

Does CSU give any sort of “local preference” when there is no local campus?

Good luck to her daughter. A lot of kids in my day wished for Cal Poly SLO but started at Cuesta college. They wanted the beach but not the big city.

Our “local” CSU is actually CSU Bakersfield.

@JimQPublic: The Cal states all have a “local” CSU based on service area even though some HS’s and CC’s are really not the close. Non-Impacted campuses will consider all CA HS’s and CC’s local for admission purposes:


@makeupyourmind is correct that if your D wants guaranteed admission, she would have had to take all CC courses at a local San Diego CC. The TAG program makes this a requirement.

She will still get priority if the majority of her CC credits are from a local SD CC but she does not get the TAG guarantee.

** If you apply to a major in the TAG pathway, you may qualify for guaranteed admission if you are a local SDSU admissions-area applicant with the following:

-Have not attempted any college course work from any college outside SDSU’s local admission area community colleges and therefore have completed 100% of your transferable units at one or more of SDSU’s local community colleges or from Palomar or MiraCosta community colleges and apply for a program that is not offered at CSU San Marcos.
-Meet the following five admission eligibility requirements (for more information on how to meet the minimum requirements and the timeline refer to the Transfer Admission Minimum -Requirements):
60 Transferable Semester Units
General Education
Major Preparation
Grade Point Average
Prior SDSU Coursework

March 4th update:
No word yet from SDSU, which is still where my daughter wants to attend, but she did get accepted to CSU Long Beach last month. If she doesn’t get in at SDSU, her plan is still to move to San Diego and attend a community college.

Hoping we hear something from SDSU soon!

Best of luck to her and CSULB is a great option.