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Thursday, February 21, 2008

UC Applications Top 120,000, an All-Time High

The University of California has received 121,005 applications for admission to the fall 2008 term, breaking the record for the fourth year in a row. Overall applications increased by 9 percent over fall 2007, with a 9.2 percent increase at the freshman level and an 8.5 percent increase at the transfer level.
The all-time high number of applications included a 7.7 percent increase in California freshman applications. In-state transfer applications rose by 7.1 percent, reversing last year's dip.
"The growing demand for a UC education coupled with the growing increase in the pool of qualified applicants is welcome," said Susan Wilbur, UC director of undergraduate admissions. "Certainly there's been an increased level of student preparation, with more students fulfilling the 'a–g' requirements, for example."
UC has put effort into a variety of strategies to recruit transfer students from the state's community colleges, Wilbur said, and the increase in transfer applications was a sign these efforts are paying off.
Out-of-state freshman applications increased by 14.4 percent, and international freshman applications by 25.2 percent. Out-of-state and international transfer applications went up by 5.1 percent and 24.9 percent, respectively.
Virtually all prospective students—99.5 percent of freshmen and 99 percent of transfers—applied online. Just 721 paper applications were submitted.
Applicants continued to apply to multiple UC campuses, 3.6 on average for freshmen and 2.9 for transfer students.
UC Davis posted the largest gain in freshman applications, 15.6 percent, followed by Santa Barbara (15 percent), Santa Cruz (13.8 percent), Merced (13.2 percent), Berkeley (9.8 percent), Los Angeles (9.2 percent), Riverside (6.5 percent), Irvine (6.2 percent) and San Diego (5.1 percent).
All nine UC undergraduate campuses saw gains in transfer applications, led by Merced's 37.7 percent jump from 2007 (300 applicants). Other top draws were Santa Barbara (a 12.9 percent increase), Los Angeles (12 percent) and Davis (11.9 percent).
Freshman applications showed increases from every racial and ethnic category. Chicano/Latino applications rose the most, a 17.9 percent increase, and there was a 16.1 percent increase in African American applications.
All campuses saw an increase in African American applicants from California. Applications from this group have increased by 26.4 percent since 2006. Freshman applications from Chicano/Latino students who are California residents went up by at least 16.2 percent on all campuses. Since 2006, applications from California's prospective Chicano/Latino freshmen have risen 30.4 percent.
Transfer applications showed one-year increases of 10.8 percent for Asian Americans, 7.1 percent for white/other and 4.6 percent for Chicano/Latino applicants. The number of African American transfer applicants remained flat.
Applications from California public high school students outpaced the state Department of Finance's projected increase of 3.2 percent more graduates in 2008. The University saw an increase of 6.4 percent from this group.
Transfer applicants from California community colleges increased this year by 8.1 percent, or 1,522 students. All campuses experienced a solid increase, including UC Merced, which had a one-year increase of 231 applicants (32.3 percent). Application growth is noted among the following groups: Asian American (12.3 percent), Chicano/Latino (6.3 percent), white/other (5.5 percent) and Filipino American (2.3 percent).
The academic quality of UC applicants remains high. And slightly more applicants this year reported that they are the first in their families to attend college, have a low family income and are among those who are attending California's lowest-performing public high schools as defined by the school's academic performance index (API) score.
These admissions data are from a preliminary Jan. 4 report. Some UC campuses remained open after the Nov. 30 deadline, so final results may differ.

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