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Cal Poly to increase student enrollment through new 'year-round operations'

In an effort to meet enrollment growth requirements for the CSU system up to 600 new students will have the opportunity to begin taking classes on campus during the summer.
Posted at 11:18 PM, Sep 18, 2023

This week, thousands of college students are back in San Luis Obispo for another school year at Cal Poly.

On Monday, following Cal Poly president, Jeffrey Armstrong’s annual welcoming of students and staff back to campus at their Fall Convocation, he shared with KSBY, new plans for the university.

“Cal Poly has such a demand from applicants and for 'ready day one graduates,' that we do need to grow, but we need to grow in a sustainable manner,” Armstrong said.

In an effort to meet enrollment growth requirements for the CSU system, President Armstrong says starting next school year, up to 600 new students will have the opportunity to begin taking classes on campus during the summer.

“Providing a year-round opportunity for students allows for an effective and efficient use of our facilities and provides us with a sustainable way to better maximize student beds, labs and classrooms,” he explained.

Armstrong says Cal Poly’s transition to year-round operations will allow for the university to steadily increase enrollment — by boosting the number of students on campus during the summer, in place of during the traditional quarter system.

He says once the initiative is fully implemented within the next few years, as many as 6,000 students could be on campus for a summer term.

“We are very excited, as by the time the dust settles and move-in finishes this fall, we will have 8801 students living on campus,” Armstrong told KSBY.

He says of Cal Poly’s total enrollment, nearly 40% will be living on campus — and as the university continues to grow with its new year-round operations initiative, Armstrong says more housing will be coming, too.

“Starting in 2026, we will add at least 3,000 new beds on campus,” he told KSBY. “We want to take pressure off the community.”

Armstrong adds that the university also has plans to construct and offer more housing for new faculty and staff that join Cal Poly as more students will be calling San Luis Obispo home for the summer.

He says the year-round approach could ultimately free up 200 spots for additional students during the fall, winter and spring quarters.

“Creating economic impact for the community, adding jobs to the community, but not burdening a housing situation that is already a problem,” Armstrong said. “That is why we have to be sustainable, and we believe this plan will really pull it together.”

The application period for Cal Poly’s 2024-2025 academic year opens on October 1.

Cal Poly’s most recent master plan calls for student enrollment to increase to 25,000 students by 2035.