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More than a million students who apply to the 23-campus California State University system annually will now have 11 extra days to submit their applications after the deadline was extended to Dec. 15 to ease the burden on those facing challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the chancellor’s office said Tuesday.

The original deadline for incoming freshmen and transfer applicants for fall 2021 was Dec. 4.

“By extending the deadline, we are acknowledging that prospective students, their families and really everyone is dealing with many, many challenges and we don’t want the deadline to be the reason that someone doesn’t apply to college,” Mike Uhlenkamp, a spokesman for the Cal State chancellor’s office, said. “We felt this would be helpful to prospective students who are weighing their options and ultimately want to make it as easy as possible to apply to a CSU campus.”

The Cal State system also encouraged students to visit the university’s financial aid website after applying to learn about options to finance their education. With annual tuition and fees at $7,360, CSU is one of the most affordable public universities in the nation, and 80% of its students receive some type of financial aid.

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