New students bring in big money

Jake Abbot

Sacramento State University generates the majority of its funding through student tuition and a large number of first-time students help to support services on campus.

This year’s information collected by the Office of Admissions and Outreach showed a record for first time freshmen enrollment with 3,700 students this semester.

The 2014-15 Operating Fund Budget for Sac State, approved in August by President Alexander Gonzalez, shows tuition fees make up 54 percent of the total resources available to the university.

A portion of California’s General Fund, financial support provided by the state, makes up the rest of the budget the university uses for its operations.

Stacy Hayano, associate vice president of Budget Planning & Administration, said the University Budget Advisory Committee helps the president with budgetary decisions on how funds will be allocated on campus.

“Once that finalized budget is approved by the president, the budget department allocates funds as indicated on the approved budget,” Hayano said.

The General Fund provides the CSU system $2.5 billion for mandatory costs, enrollment growth, employee compensation, academic programs, urgent maintenance, updated technology and instructional equipment needs.

The budget plan also adjusts tuition fee revenue at each campus depending on changes in student enrollment patterns.

“The campus receives State Appropriation for enrollment growth and needs to meet that target,” Hayano said. “In the past, if a campus fell short of that enrollment target by a certain percentage, it would have to pay back funds to the Chancellor’s Office.”

The Outreach and Admissions Department is tasked with recruiting first-time students and undergraduate transfer students to the university to make sure enrollment growth continues. Counselors visit high schools and community colleges around California helping students apply for Sac State.

“The campus works to meet the enrollment target designated by the Chancellor’s Office each year,” said Ed Mills, Interim Vice President of Student Affairs. “The enrollment target is based on the budget allocation received from the state. For the 2014-15 academic year, the university’s enrollment target increased by about 1%.”

 Nancy Nelson, Sac State admissions counselor, works alongside high schools to provide students with information about Sac State, and how to apply.

“Counselors provide students with information about the campus,” Nelson said. “We also have application workshops where students use computers and we help them fill out the application forms on CSU Mentor.”

Kim Nava, Director of News Services, said the university welcomes new students and supports recruitment at high schools and community colleges, but is focused on providing currently enrolled students with the best learning environment possible.

“We always want more students,” Nava said. “But the university also has to balance those students with the resources it can provide them.”