Freshman 'SIR' numbers reflect UCSC's increasing popularity

UC Santa Cruz received a "Statement of Intent to Register" from 4,573 prospective freshmen by the May 1 deadline, according to systemwide SIR numbers released today by the University of California.

Actual freshmen enrollments at UCSC this fall are expected to be between 3,700 and 3,850, campus admissions officials estimate.

"We are excited to welcome the Class of 2012 to the University of California, Santa Cruz, and we're very gratified by the strong interest they have shown in our campus," said Chancellor George Blumenthal. "The upward trajectory in our enrollment numbers affirms that UCSC is being recognized for top-quality teaching and unparalleled opportunities for undergraduates to participate in cutting-edge UC research."

UC also today released enrollment projections for community college students who have been admitted to UC's nine general campuses. UCSC has admitted 3,275 transfer students from community colleges throughout California, an increase of more than 200 from the previous year. UCSC expects to enroll between 850 and 950 transfer students this fall.

At UCSC, the numbers in this year's freshman admissions cycle reflect the campus's increasing popularity:

  • In January, officials announced that more high school seniors than ever applied to UCSC for fall 2008, a one-year increase of 13.8 percent in freshman applications, compared to a 9.2 percent increase for UC systemwide. During the university's "priority filing" period last November, a total of 27,810 prospective freshmen applied to UC Santa Cruz, compared with 24,436 a year earlier.

  • UCSC's admission rate dropped 7 percent for fall 2008, compared to 2007. "In the course of one year, that's a significant reduction, reflecting our increasing selectivity," says Michael McCawley, acting director of admissions at UCSC.

McCawley said the academic profile of the incoming freshman class also increased, both in average GPA and standardized test scores.

UCSC's incoming class of frosh also will be the most ethnically diverse in its 44-year history, more closely reflecting the demographics of California. "Chicano and Latino students, for example, comprise 20 percent of the entire class, up from 18 percent a year ago," McCawley noted.

McCawley said UCSC's admissions officers had sensed increasing excitement about UCSC before the final numbers were tallied. "In the weeks leading up to the SIR deadline this spring, interest in our campus seemed very high. We heard this from many of the thousands of students and families who visited the campus; we also heard it from high school counselors, who often reflect student interest in a campus," he said.

Admissions receptions featuring Chancellor Blumenthal also helped get the word out about UC Santa Cruz, McCawley said. "We saw SIR increases from each of the regions of California where we held receptions."

McCawley says several factors explain the difference between the number of SIRs submitted and the estimated class size: some students accept offers of admission at multiple universities; economic factors, including increasing student fees, may preclude some students from enrolling; and some students do not fulfill all the conditions of their admission, including academic performance in their senior year of high school.