Bulldog Bound guarantees qualifying high school students admission to Fresno State as early as 9th grade


Wyatt Bible/The Collegian

On May 10, President Saùl Jimènez-Sandoval announced the Bulldog Bound program, a guaranteed admissions program for qualifying local high school students, in the Resnick Student Union.

By Jiselle Cardenas, News Editor

Fresno State President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval announced a new guaranteed admissions program for high school students who attend participating local school districts.

The Bulldog Bound program, announced on May 10 with a pep-rally style gathering at the Resnick Student Union, ensures students from partnered schools admission to Fresno State if they meet the minimum California State University requirements upon graduation.

“Bulldog Bound will become the gold standard for promoting a college-going culture, one which will open doors of opportunity for our region’s students. This program, in turn, will uplift the quality of life through a greater appreciation for higher education and a deeper engagement with our invested faculty, dynamic staff and talented students,” Jiménez-Sandoval told The Collegian.

The program will begin in the 2024-25 school year. Qualified high school students from grades 9 through 12 can sign a guaranteed admissions agreement with the consent of a parent or guardian.

Phong Yang, director of Admissions and Recruitment and interim associate vice president of Enrollment Management, said the mission of the program is to ensure clear, equitable pathways to higher education by preparing students of the region for success at Fresno State early on.

“Fresno State will work with students and their parents to remove any fear or uncertainties about higher education including affordability. Bulldog Bound will produce more college-ready students with tools and knowledge that will better prepare them to succeed in college and post-secondary pursuits,” Yang said.

The program is free. Signing an agreement does not obligate students to attend Fresno State. The program is currently partnered with:

  • Fresno Unified School District
  • Visalia Unified School District
  • Fowler Unified School District
  • Sanger Unified School District
  • Parlier Unified School District
  • Central Unified School District
  • University High School

Yang said planning for the project began in January of this year, and 19 more school districts have already been contacted to participate in the partnership since its announcement.

He said the experience behind the “guaranteed” aspect of the agreement is what makes it unique from other admissions programs because every student in the region will be prepared and can attend Fresno State.

“The education they receive will change their life and the trajectory of their family. Further, Bulldog Bound will raise outcomes across our region by preparing more caregivers, innovators, educators and change agents. This in turn will change our community,” Yang said.

He told The Collegian to better promote “college-going” culture in the Central Valley, a commitment between the university, local school districts, parents and students was the perfect way for the community to join forces because students will see their community believes in them.

“This collaboration not only benefits the individual students and supports their families, but it also strengthens the educational pipeline in our region and cultivates a brighter future for all,” said Kent Willis, vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, in a Fresno State News article.

According to the Bulldog Bound website, other benefits students receive include:

  • Early admission for 11th graders
  • On-the-spot admissions for 12th graders
  • Fresno State identification card, email and library access
  • Help with career and academic major exploration
  • Dual enrollment opportunities
  • Assistance with applying to Fresno State
  • Early estimates for financial aid
  • Scholarship opportunities
  • Summer student experience opportunities
  • Resources for parents and/or guardians

“When envisioning Bulldog Bound, it was not envisioned as just a program. Instead, Bulldog Bound is a movement. It is a movement to change the way our community thinks about student achievement, breaking boundaries and that attaining a college degree is possible,” Yang said.

For more information, visit the Bulldog Bound website, or contact Fresno State Admissions and Recruitment at 559-278-2261 to inquire more about participating.