2010 Facts About the CSU

Students on campus


The CSU has a significant impact on the state through the personal contributions of current students and alumni. Its students largely come from California and remain in the state using their increased skills and knowledge to the benefit of California.

Where Do CSU Students Come From?

In fall 2009, more than 94 percent of all enrolled students came from California. More than one-quarter of those came from Los Angeles County, with large numbers also coming from Orange (9 percent), San Diego (8 percent), Santa Clara (5.3 percent) and San Bernardino (5 percent) counties. The CSU draws students from across the nation to its 23 campuses.

New first-time freshmen came overwhelmingly (85 percent) from California public high schools, followed by California private high schools (11 percent).

New undergraduate transfers came largely from the California Community Colleges (88 percent), with 4 percent coming from the CSU and about 5 percent from other states.

The majority of new postbaccalaureate and graduate students came from the CSU (52 percent), followed by the University of California (17 percent), private institutions (7 percent) and out-of-state (14 percent), with the remainder from foreign or unknown sources.

Giving Back to Communities

All 23 CSU campuses offer a variety of ways for students to make a difference—both domestically and internationally—through numerous community engagement activities, including community service clubs and organizations, service-learning courses, and alternative break programs.

  • Approximately 63,000 CSU students provided more than 1.2 million hours to their communities through their service-learning courses in 2008. The economic impact of this service totals $24.3 million. Nearly half of the CSU’s students provide some type of service: If service learning, community service and civic engagement hours were totaled, the economic impact would approach $650 million.
  • CSU students participate in all types of service activities in more than 5,794 community sites annually. Students from all academic majors have opportunities to connect service to their studies in more than 2,570 service-learning courses annually.
  • In 2008-09, the Chancellor’s Office and the campus service-learning offices brought in $3.9 million in grants and private support, a return on investment of nearly $4 for every dollar invested by the state.

More information about the Center for Community Engagement »


The CSU has more than 2.5 million alumni, exceeding the populations of every California city except Los Angeles. More than 180 alumni, including 12 legislators, work in the state capitol, while, nationally, the CSU boasts several CEOs among Fortune 500 companies.

CSU alumni are the engine of the state’s productivity and key to its future. One in 10 members of California’s workforce is a CSU graduate, and the majority of the state’s teachers are CSU alumni, including about half of the California State Teacher of the Year award recipients.

CSU graduates have distinguished themselves in every field, including arts and entertainment, business, education, journalism, public administration, the sciences, sports, and agriculture. CSU graduates are the core of California in virtually every field of endeavor.

More information about Alumni »