San Diego State University is quiet and nearly deserted while classes are not in session.
Photo by Chris Stone

San Diego State University reported Friday its largest fall enrollment in 12 years today, in addition to a record-high transfer class for the second straight year.

The school recorded 35,578 undergraduate and graduate students attending the San Diego and Imperial Valley campuses in its fall census, an increase of 500 students from last year, and the highest figure since 2008.

That total includes a record 4,482 transfer students, up from 4,146 a year ago, according to SDSU officials, who said the enrollment figures exceed projections made before the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects were fully realized.

SDSU president Adela de la Torre said the rising enrollment numbers amid the pandemic were a credit to the school’s efforts to adapt to turbulent times.

“Our entire faculty, staff and advisers have worked hard to support the shift to a remote environment,” de la Torre said. “Over the course of the summer, we remained in contact with our newly admitted students to make sure they knew we’re here for them, and we could not be more proud to welcome them to SDSU.”

SDSU’s international student population was down from 2019, though, with 1,395 students this year compared to 1,770 last year. COVID-19 likely played a role in this decline, as some international applicants who were accepted at SDSU for the fall deferred their admission to spring or fall 2021, according to Stefan Hyman, SDSU associate vice president for enrollment management.

Nationwide, international undergraduate student enrollment is down 11%, according to a preliminary report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

— City News Service