UC applications break records for 13th consecutive year

In the 13th straight year of record-breaking highs, more than 221,000 students applied for undergraduate admission to the University of California for fall 2018, an overall jump of 5.7 percent over last year, according to preliminary data released today (Dec. 14).

In this year’s application cycle, 221,788 students applied to at least one UC campus — 181,419 as freshmen and 40,369 as transfer students. All nine undergraduate UC campuses saw gains in total applications, ranging from 4.6 percent at Berkeley to 12.4 percent at Riverside. Across the system, freshman applications increased by 5.7 percent, while transfer applications rose 5.5 percent. 

“We are thrilled by yet another record-shattering year of applications from freshman and transfer students who want to attend UC,” said UC President Janet Napolitano. “The steady momentum of increasing application numbers underscores the university’s standing as one of the best higher education institutions in the world.” 

UC received 119,626 freshman applications from California high school seniors and 34,347 applications from California Community College transfer students, increases of 7.1 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively. Data for California Community College transfer students will ultimately reflect an even higher increase because applications for the Merced, Riverside and Santa Cruz campuses are still open to transfer applicants through January 8, 2018.

Said Associate Vice President of Undergraduate Admissions Stephen Handel, “Marked increases in California applicants from throughout the state and from a range of backgrounds demonstrate that the university’s efforts to get the word out about the accessibility of a UC education are clearly paying off.”

Latinos remained the largest ethnic group among California freshman applicants, maintaining 37.2 percent of the applicant pool. Asian Americans and whites were the second and third-largest ethnic groups, respectively. The proportion of Asian Americans in the applicant pool grew slightly to 30.4 percent while the proportion of white applicants decreased slightly to 22.3 percent of the total. Applications from African Americans, American Indians and Pacific Islanders stayed at approximately the same proportions as last year.

Among California Community College transfer applicants, Latino students surpassed white students as the largest ethnic group, rising to 28.4 percent of the applicant pool from 26.8 percent last year. Applications from African American students increased slightly, to 5.6 percent of all applicants. Among other California Community College transfer applicants, the proportion of whites dropped a half percent to 27.4 percent, while the proportion of Asian Americans dropped 0.7 percent to 23.7 percent. All other groups remained roughly at the same proportions as fall 2017.

The proportion of California freshman applicants who would be the first in their families to graduate from a four-year college remained steady at 46.4 percent of applicants, while the proportion of California freshman students from low-income families decreased slightly, to 40.9 percent this year.

More California students are currently enrolled at the University of California than at any point in its history. After last year’s enrollment jump of nearly 7,500 California students, UC is on track to meet its three-year goal of adding an additional 10,000 Californians by the 2018-2019 academic year.

Details about high school students applying for freshman admission and community college transfer applicants are posted here.