UCSC receives 'intent to register' statements from more than 3,500 students

More than 3,500 prospective freshmen have made formal commitments to attend UC Santa Cruz this fall, based on systemwide data released today (June 16, 2009) by the University of California.

Academic achievement, ethnic diversity increase among prospective freshmen
As of May 1, UCSC had received 3,523 Statements of Intent to Register (SIRs) from prospective freshmen expressing their intent to enroll. The actual number of enrolling freshmen will not be known until fall.

"We are very excited to welcome the Class of 2013 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 academic quality and diversity of this class is especially impressive."

At UCSC, the numbers in this year's freshman admissions cycle reflect the campus's increasing popularity, said Michelle Whittingham, UCSC's associate vice chancellor of enrollment management:

  • Undergraduate applications to UCSC soar for second consecutive year: In January, UC officials announce that-for the second year in a row-more than 32,000 prospective undergraduates applied to UC Santa Cruz. UCSC attracts 32,847 applications from high school seniors and transfer students during the university's "priority filing" period of November 1-30-a 12.7 percent increase the 29,140 undergraduate applications UCSC received just two years ago. "The interest we received from prospective undergraduates for next fall is on par with the very high threshold we established a year ago," Whittingham says. "Having sustained that level of interest is very gratifying."

  • UCSC's acceptance rate for freshmen drops 10 percent in one year: Numbers released in April by UC's Office of the President indicate that UCSC provided offers of admission to 16,135 prospective freshmen-64 percent of the 25,341 California high-school seniors who applied. Last year, the campus admitted 74 percent of the California freshman applicants; two years ago, 83 percent. The declining "admit rate" is a reflection of the campus's increasing selectivity in freshman admission, Whittingham says. "Our admission rate has gone from 83 to 74 to 64 percent in just two years. In this time frame, no other UC campus has experienced this kind of increase in selectivity."

With the campus having received SIRs from 3,523 prospective freshmen for the upcoming fall quarter, Whittingham said two attributes stand out: The academic profile of the students increased, both in average GPA and test scores; and UCSC also continued to attract a higher percentage of students from unrepresented ethnic groups.

"The University of California is defined by the quality of its academic programs and by the access to that quality," Whittingham said, "so we are extremely pleased by the academic achievement and ethnic diversity of UCSC's incoming freshman class."

The average GPA for the incoming freshmen is 3.60, up from 3.52 a year ago. SAT scores also increased, from 1698 a year ago to 1718 for this fall's freshmen. "Those are solid one-year increases," Whittingham said.

The percentage of underrepresented students among the incoming freshman class also increased to 25.6 percent, up from last year's 23.9 percent. Just over 23 percent of the students are Asian American. "We are especially excited that over a third of our incoming freshman class are considered the first in their families to earn a college degree," Whittingham said.

One of six UC campuses with reduced enrollment targets for freshmen, UCSC was committed to enrolling fewer than 3,620 freshmen in the fall-a reduction of at least 335 from this past fall. "Given the budget uncertainties this year, it has been absolutely critical that we enroll fewer students," Whittingham said. "It's now clear that we will achieve that goal. In a year in which state support is especially unpredictable, this is a great relief to us."

UC today also released numbers of community college students who have been admitted to UC's nine general campuses. UCSC has admitted 3,584 transfer students from community colleges throughout California, an increase of more than 300 from the previous year. UCSC would like to enroll 950 transfer students this fall, 80 more than enrolled this past fall.

"Throughout UC, the system is trying to accommodate more students who are transfering from one of the state's community college campuses," Whittingham said.

Michelle Whittingham, UCSC's associate vice chancellor of enrollment management, is available to discuss freshman admissions to the campus for fall 2009. To arrange an interview, please call (831) 459-2495.