Record-breaking number of students apply to the University of California for fall 2022

Systemwide applications climb to highest number ever in UC’s 154-year history

The University of California announced today (Feb. 24) that its campuses received a record-breaking number of applications for fall 2022, underscoring UC’s position as one of the most sought-after higher education systems in the world.

Systemwide freshman applications jumped by 7,140 over 2021, rising by 3.5 percent to an all-time high of 210,840 for fall 2022 from 203,700 in fall 2021. California freshman applications also saw impressive gains with 3.3 percent growth over 2021, and 16.8 percent growth from fall 2020.

“The University of California remains an institution of choice for so many hardworking prospective undergraduates,” said President Michael V. Drake, M.D. “This diverse group of students has shown their commitment to pursuing higher education and we are thrilled they want to join us at UC.”

The University also saw an increase in the socioeconomic diversity of its California applicant pool for fall 2022. Systemwide, the proportion of California freshman applicants and California Community College (CCC) transfer applicants from low-income families grew to 46 percent and 56 percent respectively for the 2022 application period.

Community college enrollment declined nationally for fall 2021 due to the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic. This trend was especially true for California Community Colleges (CCCs), where enrollment declined by roughly 15 percent for fall 2020. That dramatic drop decreased the available pipeline of students applying to transfer to UC from CCCs for fall 2022. Systemwide, transfer applications decreased 12.6 percent from last year to 40,339, and applications from domestic California Community College students decreased by 13 percent, to 30,936, for fall 2022.

“UC is aware of the decrease in transfer applications and California Community College students across the system and is working to ensure that this critical group is supported in their efforts to apply at our campuses,” said Han Mi Yoon-Wu, executive director of Undergraduate Admissions at UC. “We are committed to having a strong and diverse pipeline of students.”

UC’s dedicated outreach efforts to California high schools contributed to a surge in applications from California freshmen in underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, and in applications from low-income students for fall 2022.

Chicano/Latino students comprised the largest ethnic group of the pool of California freshman applicants (38.1 percent) for the third year in a row, a 4.1 percent increase over the past year. Similarly, Chicano/Latino students comprised the largest ethnic group of the pool of California Community College (CCC) applicants (31.8 percent) for the fifth year in a row. In addition, important gains were made in systemwide freshman applications for fall 2022 from American Indian students (32.8 percent increase over the past year), African American students (2.8 percent increase over the past year) and Asian American students (5.8 percent increase over the past year).

Additional details about the fall 2022 applicants to the University can be found here, along with preliminary campus-by-campus breakdowns.