More freshmen than expected say they plan to attend UCSC

About 4,200 freshmen--several hundred more than had been expected--have indicated they plan to enroll at UC Santa Cruz in the fall. UCSC's Office of Admissions received a "Statement of Intent to Register" (SIR) from 4,236 students by the May 1 UC-wide deadline; campus officials had been expecting 3,750 to accept offers of admission.

The University of California today (June 12, 2007) released systemwide SIR numbers for the fall 2007 freshman class.

"We are proud to welcome this class to our campus and very gratified by their strong interest in UC Santa Cruz," said Acting Chancellor George Blumenthal. "The size of the class is a reflection of the increasing awareness that UCSC offers quality programs led by quality people in a quality setting."

"We are pleased by the popularity of the campus," added William Ladusaw, vice provost and dean of undergraduate education. "Our challenge now--which we accept--is to ensure that every one of our incoming freshmen receives the same access to academic offerings and to on-campus housing that prior classes have enjoyed."

Kevin Browne, executive director of admissions and university registrar, said the campus expects that--as is always the case at UCSC and on other campuses--a percentage of the students who filed SIRs will not enroll in the fall. "When the quarter actually begins, we'll probably enroll a freshman class of 3,800," Browne said.

He added that the higher-than-expected SIR number for fall may lead the campus to revise downward its winter-quarter admission numbers.

Browne said UCSC's admissions officers had seen anecdotal evidence of rising interest in UCSC before the final numbers were in, but even they were surprised by the extent of the campus's popularity among prospective freshmen.

"Interest in our campus and academic offerings seemed extremely high from the thousands of students and families who visited the campus in the weeks leading up to the SIR deadline, and there was a buzz from high school counselors about students' interest in UCSC," said Browne. Well-attended admissions receptions, featuring Acting Chancellor Blumenthal, in several large metropolitan areas also helped get the word out about UC Santa Cruz. "We saw SIR increases from each of the regions in which these receptions were held," Browne said, adding that an increase in SIRs was also evident in students from Santa Clara County.

"We've seen an increase in popularity while retaining the academic quality of the incoming class," Browne said. "And we're very pleased to report that this will be our most ethnically diverse freshman class ever."

Ladusaw said staff, faculty, and administrators have been strategizing to meet the new class's academic expectations. "We are arranging to have more instructors in classes with heavy freshman enrollments, and we are expanding existing courses or adding new ones as needed," he said.

Jean Marie Scott, acting vice chancellor for student affairs, said substantial expansion in on-campus residential halls and apartments in recent years gives the campus considerable flexibility in responding to the housing needs of a larger-than-expected freshman class. Within the UC system, UCSC has traditionally housed the highest percentage of its undergraduate students--nearly half--in university housing. She expects that 98 percent of all incoming freshmen will choose to live on campus in the fall.

"The additional numbers work out to about 30 extra students in each of the 10 campus colleges," Scott said. "Some single rooms will be converted to doubles; we'll be taking a variety of approaches to increase our inventory," she added. "It will be a busy summer getting everything ready, but we will have enough beds available to accommodate the increase in freshmen."

The new freshman class will receive the same guarantee of campus housing--two years--that past classes have enjoyed, she added.