Impaction 2023

SJSU Proposes Impaction Change for Fall 2023

At San Jose State University (SJSU) we are considering changes to guidelines that would affect freshmen and transfer students seeking admission to the BFA in Animation and Illustration degree program beginning fall 2023. Our proposed changes do not apply to any other approved impaction policies currently in place for all other undergraduate programs. In addition, this change does not affect students who have already applied or are applying for admission for fall 2022 or spring 2023. For current impaction criteria visit the Undergraduate Admissions Impaction site.

The changes proposed for impaction are focused on broadening access to the Animation and Illustration program for freshmen and transfer students while ensuring admitted students are prepared to be successful in the discipline. Our proposed changes aim to better enable students to complete their undergraduate degrees in a timely manner. 

Modifying Supplemental Criteria for First Time Freshmen Admission to Animation and Illustration (BFA)

The implementation of a talent-based assessment in the application process would provide an opportunity for students to earn an additional GPA bump based on faculty review of a set of drawing assignments representing an individual’s aptitude for success in this particular program. This additional GPA bump could mitigate the unintended consequences of our current impaction processes for this major.

First-Time Freshmen:

Impaction for first-time freshmen applicants to the BFA Animation & Illustration follows the same process as for all other impacted majors at this entry level. Applicants are assigned GPA bumps if they are local, veterans, first-generation, or qualify for the fee waiver on the Cal State Apply application. Then, they are ranked by GPA and admitted in numbers to meet the program’s enrollment capacity. Because the demand for this major is far greater than the enrollment capacity, this has resulted in GPA thresholds that are very high with the following unintended consequences:

  • Some students with the aptitude to succeed in the Animation & Illustration program are not being accepted because this aptitude is not necessarily reflected by their GPA 
  • Some students who could do very well in the Animation & Illustration program do not get the opportunity because they are not in circumstances that allow them to compete in an admission process based solely on a GPA requirement

Upper Division Transfer:

Prior to Fall 2020, upper division transfer applicants were ranked by GPA and admitted to meet the enrollment capacity of the major. For Fall 2020, we modified our impaction plan to add two supplemental course requirements to the approved impaction plan for the BFA Animation & Illustration. The addition of supplemental coursework in Fall 2020 provided some transfer students a greater advantage than others because the transfer courses selected are not available at all community colleges.  

For this reason, we propose retiring the GPA bump awarded for the completion of major-specific supplemental coursework and replacing it with a GPA bump awarded during faculty review of the drawing assignments.

Process change to support proposed impaction changes:

  • Applicants would be assigned three one-hour drawing/design assignments. It would be clearly noted that we understand that applicants may never have taken part in formal art training.
  • For a small fee, applicants would upload their submissions to a portfolio review website, Slideroom, which can be integrated into Cal State Apply. The Animation & Illustration program has been successfully using Slideroom for many years.
  • Program faculty would review submissions, awarding a GPA bump to applicants exhibiting above average aptitude and an additional GPA bump to applicants exhibiting extraordinary aptitude. A rubric will be used which clearly defines the criteria by which submissions are evaluated.

Potential benefits of proposed changes:

  • Increase diversity and offer more equal opportunities to students from underserved communities in this highly impacted program.
  • Increase retention by giving preference to students in the admission selection process to the major who demonstrate the aptitude to be successful, which would help maximize the limited enrollment capacity to serve  students who are more likely to successfully graduate in the major.

Share Your Thoughts

University stakeholders and community members will have the opportunity to comment or share thoughts through a dedicated email address,, or in writing to:Impaction Comments, ℅ Coleetta McElroy, San Jose State University, One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95192-0020.

Comments submitted to email [pdf]

We will be holding a stakeholders meeting along with three public hearings in March, where we will share the proposed changes and allow for questions and comments.

Public Stakeholders Meeting

Monday, March 7, 2022 - Meet with College Success Collaborative

Public Hearings

Monday, March 14, 2022, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. 
Recording of March 14 Hearing

Tuesday, March 15, 2022, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. 
Recording of March 15 Hearing 

Wednesday, March 16, 2022, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. 
Recording of March 17 Hearing

Presentation for Public Hearing (PDF) [pdf]


Next Steps

We will submit a final proposal for 2023-2024 impaction changes to the California State University Chancellor’s Office on March 18, 2022, inclusive of any adjustments arising from consideration of public input during the hearing process. If approved by the Chancellor’s Office, we will implement impaction planning criteria for fall 2023 admissions beginning in June 2022.

If you have questions, please contact Coleetta McElroy, Interim Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management at 408-924-6086.

Frequently Asked Questions

*Please note this section may be updated as additional questions or comments come in during the public hearing process.

Will preference still be given to transfer applicants to the Animation and Illustration, BFA, program for completed supplemental coursework?

No, if our proposed changes to our impaction plan are approved, the supplemental coursework preference given to transfer applicants to Animation & Illustration who had completed supplemental coursework, will be replaced with preference given based on completion and evaluation of talent-based exercises.

What are "talent-based exercises" and how will they be assessed to award preference to applicants for Animation & Illustration?

Students will be assigned three tasks. The first two involve drawing something they are familiar with, such as the space they are sitting in or a face. The drawings will be scored using a rubric with criteria such as observational skills and talent. For the third task students will be asked to creatively express whatever best captures their artistic passion and point of view in any medium they chose. This will also be scored by a rubric.

What programs will be affected if these changes to impaction are approved?

The only program that will be affected is Animation & Illustration, BFA. The impaction review process for admission to all other undergraduate programs will continue to follow the process outlined at

What counties are included in SJSU’s current local admission area and what benefit do applicants receive in admission consideration?
SJSU’s current local admission area includes Santa Clara County for freshmen and Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties for transfer students. Students within the local admission area receive a 0.25 GPA bump.

Will the proposed changes to admissions policies impact graduate students?
The proposed changes to admissions policies affect undergraduate admissions only and will not impact graduate admissions.