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SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Cal State University San Marcos has extended its deadline to apply for admission for the fall 2021 semester by six weeks in recognition of the toll that the coronavirus pandemic has exacted on students, it was announced Wednesday.

The previous deadline was Dec. 15 and the new deadline is Jan. 31.

“Because of the many challenges faced by students during this trying period, we wanted to provide them with additional time to apply,” said Scott Hagg, CSUSM’s associate vice president of enrollment management services.

The California State University system previously extended the application deadline by 11 days, from Dec. 4 to Dec. 15. By pushing it back further, CSUSM hopes to provide students and their families with extra time over winter break and into the new year to go through the application process.

As part of that process, CSUSM is reminding students that financial aid is available to those who apply and who are qualified. More than 70% of CSUSM’s student population receives some type of financial aid.

The $70 application fee is waived for individuals who qualify based on information provided in the application, including financial information from the prior year. If students’ financial situation, or that of their families, has changed significantly from 2019, they may request an appeal of their eligibility for a fee waiver.

CSUSM is anticipating a return to in-person instruction for fall 2021, though the university plans to offer some virtual learning opportunities for students who decide that they’re not ready to return to campus.