UC admits all-time record number of freshmen, transfer students

The University of California announced today (July 22) that it has offered an all-time record number of incoming students a spot on at least one of its nine undergraduate campuses for the 2019-20 academic year, including respectively the highest numbers of freshmen and transfer students in UC’s history.

The university admitted 108,178 freshmen out of a pool of 176,695 students, including a record number of Californians (71,655). UC also accepted 28,752 transfers from a pool of 41,282 students, including the largest-ever class from the California Community Colleges (26,700).

The freshman admission rate for California residents jumped 3 percentage points to 62 percent, while the admit rate for California Community College transfers remained at 76 percent.

Students walking across campus
Photo Credit: Elena Zhukova/University of California

“Yet another year of record-setting admissions underscores the tremendous interest in the world-class education at UC,” said UC President Janet Napolitano. “The best and the brightest young minds continue to make UC their university of choice, and I am pleased to welcome all of these remarkable students this year.”

UC expects to enroll an additional 2,500 California undergraduates for 2019-20, on top of the more than 14,000 additional California students the university has added over the past three years.

The number of admission offers to students from underrepresented groups increased by 991, elevating that proportion to 40 percent of all admitted California freshmen, from 38 percent last year. First-generation students comprise 44 percent (30,856) of all resident freshmen accepted, while low-income students comprise 40 percent (26,913).

The composition of the freshman class is similar to that of last year. Chicano/Latino students increased slightly as a proportion of admitted students from 33 percent to 34 percent, while Asian American students remained the largest ethnic group of admitted students at 35 percent. The proportion of white students stayed flat at 22 percent. The proportion of African American students also stayed flat at 5 percent, while American Indian students remained at 0.5 percent.

Admission of California Community College transfer students grew slightly to 26,700 students from 26,582 in fall 2018, in keeping with UC’s goal of enrolling one new California transfer student for every two new California freshmen.

The university’s transfer enrollment is expected to rise in the coming years from growing awareness of the UC Transfer Pathways program, which provides a roadmap of course preparation for the university's most sought-after majors, as well as the Transfer Admission Guarantee offered at most campuses.

“With UC Transfer Pathways, we expect to see even more Californians, especially first-generation college students and underrepresented minorities, enroll at UC and graduate in a timely manner,” said Han Mi Yoon-Wu, UC’s interim associate vice president and director of undergraduate admissions. “Our efforts to streamline the transfer process reflect not only our commitment to the state, but also to high-achieving, hardworking students who otherwise may not have found a home at UC.”

Students from historically underrepresented groups comprise 37 percent of admitted transfer students. Chicano/Latino students and white students comprised the largest ethnic groups at 31 percent respectively, followed by Asian Americans at 28 percent. African Americans represented 5 percent of admitted transfers, while American Indians and Pacific Islanders made up nearly 1 percent of admitted transfer students.

The preliminary data released today includes applicants admitted from waitlists and through the referral pool. The data tables, which include campus-specific information for both freshmen and transfers, may be accessed here.

The UC system includes more than 280,000 students and more than 2 million alumni living and working around the world.