UCSD receives record-high undergraduate applications for Fall 2024 admission cycle

UCSD receives record-high undergraduate applications for Fall 2024 admission cycle
Photo by Christian Duarte/ UCSD Guardian

UC San Diego received 156,906 freshman and transfer applications for the upcoming fall term, marking a 4% increase in applications over last year. The university remains the second-most applied-to four-year university in the nation, after UCLA. The uptick is largely attributed to an increase in applications from California residents, underrepresented groups, and community college transfers, according to preliminary data released on March 6. 

“We’re honored to receive so many applications each year and our Admissions team does a wonderful job in recruiting high-achieving students from communities in California and around the world,” Associate Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Management Jim Rawlins said. 

A notable reason for the increase in applications is the robust growth in the number of transfer applications, which had significantly fallen during the last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This year, UCSD received 22,467 transfer applications, a 9% increase from last year, with a surge from domestic, in-state community college applicants. 

The Enrollment Management Team attributes the increase in transfer applications to a conscious effort to target the unique needs and interests of these students, such as through community-based outreach events to connect to students from various backgrounds, including first-generation and low-income students.

Demographic trends have been consistent with previous academic years, with Hispanic/Latino students making up the largest proportions of the pools of California freshman and in-state community college applicants. While the share of first-generation freshman applicants remained stagnant, there was a slight increase in applicants from low-income families. 

Amid feeling gratified that more students are interested in UCSD, Rawlin is concerned about the rise of applicants leaving students feeling discouraged.

“While it’s exciting to see more students interested in UC San Diego, we also never want to celebrate an increase that means we’ll have to deny more people admission to the university,” he said. “We are always keeping families in mind and a large applicant pool can sometimes scare students, especially those who are first-generation, and keep them from applying.”

Rawlin emphasized the importance of “many factors” being considered for admissions and encouraged applicants to not be discouraged by the increasing number of applicants. 

“We’re always happy to receive applications from qualified students from various backgrounds and consider them for admission,” he said. 

The University of California system also saw an increase in overall applications. The Office of the President announced that it received a total of 250,436 applications for Fall 2024, seeing an increase of 1.5% from last year. 

“We are pleased to see such an outstanding pool of students from a wide range of backgrounds and life experiences apply to the University of California,” UC President Michael V. Drake, M.D. said in a statement on March 6. “The increase in applications underscores the quality of the educational experience and the long-term social mobility a UC education can provide underrepresented students.” 

UCSD currently offers a two-year on-campus housing guarantee to undergraduates, as long as housing application deadlines are met. With new projects underway, including the redevelopment of the Hillcrest campus, and two major housing developments in Pepper Canyon West and Ridge Walk North to accommodate rising housing needs, UCSD will provide housing for more than 5,700 additional students by 2025.

Prospective students will receive their application decisions in their applicant portals by the end of the month, or by the end of April, for first-year and transfers, respectively. Admission-related questions can be directed to [email protected].

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Eru Ishikawa, Senior Staff Writer
Eru is a third-year Economics student who loves financial markets, Wes Anderson films, and oat-milk cortados.
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