Record 70,000 Apply to UCSD

At a time when the UC system is in the red, the 13-percent growth in the number of UCSD’s Fall 2011 applicants represents both aid and a headache. Though tuition for both in- and out-of-state students has increased, it is only a drop in the bucket in the face of the $500-million budget cut.

Throughout the entire UC system, 142,235 prospective students applied to at least one of the 10 UC campuses. This is a 6.2 percent increase from last year’s record-breaking 134,029 applicants.

According to data released on Jan. 14, undergraduate applications for Fall 2011 increased for the seventh straight year. All campuses had record numbers in applications, with UCSD having the highest increase at 11.2 percent. UC Merced and Riverside followed with 8.9 and 8.5 percent, respectively.

There were 106,070 freshmen applicants — an increase of 5.7 percent from 100,320 — while transfer students made up the other 36,165, or 7.3 percent more than last year’s 33,709.

All UC campuses saw growth in transfer applications, according to a UC statement, which have increased system-wide by 26 percent since 2009.

Southern California applicants make up 28 percent, while 25 percent are from the San Francisco Bay Area. Thirty percent of freshman applicants call Los Angeles their home.

Among nonresident students, there were increases of 10.7 percent from out-of-state and 22.5 percent from international freshman applicants.

“The number of freshman applications from California residents increased by 3.6 percent,” UC Admissions Director Susan Wilbur said in a statement. “Since we are in a period where the number of projected high school graduates is flat, this increase suggests more students are meeting the university’s admissions requirements.”

This is the last year that the current UC admissions guidelines will be used. Effective 2012, minimum requirements no longer include two SAT-II subject tests. The new guidelines broaden the guaranteed admissions based on high school rank. Applicants must now be within the top 9 percent rather than the top 4 percent. However, fewer students — 10 percent compared to 12 percent — will be guaranteed admission.

UCSD received 70,474 applicants this year, up from last year’s 62,376, making it the UC campus with the second-highest number of applications. UCLA took the top spot with 81,235 applicants, a 6.4-percent increase from last year’s 76,313.

“We are pleased to receive a record number of applications from impressive students with outstanding academic qualities,” Assistant Vice Chancellor of Admissions Mae Brown said. “Our outreach efforts have continued to attract more talented first-generation and underrepresented students.”

UCSD’s freshman applicants increase from 48,069 to 53,455 — an 11.2-percent increase. Transfer applicants rose by 19 percent to 14,307.

The ethnic make-up of UCSD applicants changed as well. The biggest growth occurred in the Chicano/Latino pool, which increased by 34.4 percent from 9,655 to 12,978. African American applicants rose 11.8 percent from 2,210 to 2,471. American Indian applicants fell 1.2 percent, from 397 to 392.

Despite continued growth in applicant numbers, Brown said campuses may experience a reduction in enrollment.

“The state is currently not providing funding for approximately 11,000 of our University of California students,” Brown said. “This situation cannot be sustained without seriously damaging the quality of education our students expect and deserve. Therefore, all of our campuses have no choice but to reduce the enrollment of California residents, in order to bring enrollment closer into line with funding.”

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