At last count, California State University had received more than 600,000 applications for admission next fall, with more than 70,000 of those arriving the day before the November 30 deadline. Most of Cal State’s 23 campuses are no longer accepting applications, but a few are placing late applicants on a waiting list.

The sheer volume of applicants means that this year, admission at Cal State is far from guaranteed. While in theory, almost all of the applicants meet the school’s qualifications, the proportion of students actually admitted is expected to go down significantly. According to an article in Inside Higher Ed , Cal State’s transition from a non-competitive to a competitive institution is one of the biggest admissions stories of the year.

One of the reasons for the shift is California’s budget cuts, which is forcing the university to reduce enrollment in spite of higher demand. “Philosophically, most of us who work at the university are devoted to the access we’ve had throughout our existence,” James Blackburn,  director of enrollment for the system, told Inside Higher Ed. “To turn away so many students who have the potential, to turn away someone who meets the requirements, it’s very sad.”

There is some good news however. Blackburn said he was hopeful that the system would maintain its diversity since applications from Asian Americans, Latinos and African Americans were all up more than 35 percent this year.