Diverse pool of Californians apply to UC in record numbers

All nine undergraduate campuses of the University of California registered record high numbers of applications for fall 2015, with Latinos making up more than a third of California freshman applicants for the first time, according to preliminary data released today (Jan. 12).

Data collected from the application cycle that closed Nov. 30 show that 193,873 students applied for admission to at least one UC campus — 158,146 of them as freshmen and the remainder as transfer students. These combined numbers represent an overall rise of 5.8 percent over fall 2014, the 11th consecutive year of increases. For freshman applicants alone, the percentage increase was 6.5 percent over last year.

On average, California students — including transfers — each applied to four UC campuses.

“The data show that the University of California continues to draw unprecedented numbers of top-notch students eager to learn and contribute,” said UC President Janet Napolitano. “Students and their families recognize the value of a UC education, and we are honored by their vote of confidence.”

Every UC undergraduate campus received more applications from California residents than it did last year, with Merced showing the largest percentage increase, 14.8 percent for freshmen alone. The number of California high school seniors applying to UC — 102,994 overall — marked an increase of 3.2 percent over last year and comes on the heels of state projections that the number of California high school graduates is shrinking.

Nearly half of this year’s California freshman applicants to UC, or 45.7 percent, indicated they would be the first in their families to graduate from college.

Latinos, the largest racial/ethnic group among the state’s high school students, grew from 32.7 percent to 34.1 percent of California freshman applicants. The percentage of African Americans applying to the university also increased, from 5.9 percent last year to 6.1 percent for the 2015 freshman class. The numbers of Asian American and Pacific Islander California resident applicants also grew, while the numbers of those who self-identified as American Indian or white declined.

Applicants from the state’s most academically disadvantaged schools and from low-income families remained steady at 19.3 percent and 39.4 percent, respectively. These outcomes are consistent with the university’s efforts to expand consideration for admission to a broad range of students.

Transfer applications also increased, with 29,389 California residents applying for an increase of 0.9% over last year. Among California residents, UC received more applications from African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and Pacific Islanders, and slightly fewer applications from American Indians and whites. The overall number of transfer applicants to UC was 35,727, up by 2.6 percent over the fall 2014 cycle.

UC maintained its appeal to domestic out-of-state and international students. An additional 4,374 high school seniors applied from other U.S. states for a total of 30,517, an increase of 16.7 percent over the previous year. Among transfers, domestic out-of-state students increased by 139, an increase of 14 percent. International applicants rose by 2,089 at the freshman level and 494 for prospective transfer students.

Details about high school students applying for freshman admission and community college transfer applicants are posted at www.ucop.edu/news/studstaff.html. Information on campus applicant counts by level and residency is displayed in tables 2.2 and 2.3. Campus applicant counts by level and ethnicity are shown in tables 3.2 and 3.3.