UC admits all eligible freshmen

    A year after it told more than 8,000 freshman applicants they had to attend a community college instead, the University of California announced this week that it has found a place for every qualified applicant at a UC campus for next fall.

    Overall, total admission of California residents at the university jumped almost 11 percent from last year, totaling a record-breaking 50,017.

    “We are very pleased,” UC Director of Undergraduate Admissions Susan A. Wilbur said. “The university is very proud of its historic commitment to accommodate all UC-qualified students.”

    At UCSD, administrators offered admission to 17,787 new freshmen for the first two quarters of next year, up 3.7 percent from last spring. The figure included a number of students who were also offered admission to other UC campuses.

    The numbers mean that UCSD has offered more than two out of every five applicants a spot at the campus in the fall, up slightly from a year ago. By comparison, both UC Berkeley and UCLA admitted just 27.7 percent of applicants, the most competitive ratio in the university system.

    Growth for underrepresented students — made up of minority ethnic groups — also exceeded the rise in general population numbers, after dropping last year. Only Mexican-Americans posted a year-to-year decline.

    In addition, biology, chemistry and bioengineering represented the top major picks by new admits at UCSD, respectively. Political science and economics rounded off the top five most popular majors.

    Systemwide, however, Wilbur said the university saw few unexpected trends in the numbers this year.

    “This year appears to be a year of good stability for us, and there appear to be no surprises,” she said, explaining that the university was pleased that it was able to offer a seat to every eligible student.

    Most demographic data remained largely unchanged, though average high school grades and SAT scores of admitted students dropped slightly. At UCSD, the average GPA remained flat at 4.05 and the SAT scores were relatively unchanged, at about 1300.

    “We are very pleased with the quality of the class — the academic profile is very impressive,” Assistant Vice Chancellor of Admissions and Enrollment Services Mae W. Brown said.

    Though the campus is still working on finalizing the data for transfer students, Brown said she was also happy with the numbers.

    Statewide, Northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area posted the largest proportional annual increases in new admits across the university, Wilbur said. More than four out of every five Bay Area applicants were offered a spot at some UC campus, the data showed.

    According to Wilbur, UC Merced’s scheduled opening next year also helped this year’s record rate of admission. To fill its 1,000 spots, the campus offered admission to nearly 6,000 freshman students.

    Like other UC campuses, Merced’s admission numbers exceed the total number of new students because many applicants often choose to attend a different campus or university.

    Much of this year’s growth represents a correction from last year’s “anomaly,” Wilbur said. At the time, the governor’s budget proposal forced the university to initially deny admission to eligible students for the first time in more than three decades.

    Compared to 2003, the last “normal” year, this year’s numbers showed only slight growth.

    The university credited its funding compact with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, signed last year, for the returned ability to find a seat for all qualified students. Though the state Legislature will not ratify a final budget for next year until the summer, UC Office of the President spokeswoman Ravi Poorsina said the university was confident that lawmakers would adopt the numbers in the compact.

    “We are definitely confident about the compact and we have faith that the governor will follow through on it,” she said. “We hope he will pull through with it.”

    The most recent data, released by UCOP, excludes admission information for out-of-state and international students.

    At UCSD, numbers in the two categories posted increases over both 2003 and 2004.

    Readers can contact Vladimir Kogan at [email protected].

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