UC Santa Cruz's fall 2010 'admit rate' reflects continued competitiveness for freshman spaces

UC Santa Cruz has admitted 65 percent of the California high-school seniors who applied for fall 2010, maintaining a recent trend in which undergraduate admission to the campus has become increasingly competitive. Three years ago, the campus admitted 83 percent of the prospective freshmen who applied.

65 percent of freshman applicants, down from 83 percent three years ago, are offered admission
Numbers released today (April 14, 2010) by UC's Office of the President indicate that UCSC provided offers of admission to 16,756 prospective freshmen from California - 64.9 percent of the 25,827 high-school seniors who applied. The campus admitted a similar percentage last year; two years ago, the campus admitted 74.3 percent of the California freshman applicants; three years ago, 82.8 percent. (Including students from outside California, UCSC admitted 17,738 of the 27,657 applicants to the campus.)

Michelle Whittingham, UCSC's associate vice chancellor of enrollment management and director of admissions, said the campus is pleased that the increasingly competitive "admit rate" stayed steady during an admissions cycle with great uncertainty. "Given the economic climate, we are pleased that prospective freshmen and their families continue to express great interest and recognize the value of our campus. That is really a reflection of the quality of UCSC's people and programs."

As part of a new UC systemwide effort, UCSC "wait listed" almost 1,200 (1,181) high-school students who are academically eligible to attend a UC campus but were denied admission to UCSC. "The college admissions process is increasingly difficult to predict, and the economy makes the process even more unpredictable this year," she said. "Having a wait list allows us to admit more high-quality students should we be able to."

At the same time the campus maintained its increased selectivity, the academic achievement and diversity of the students admitted to UCSC continues to increase, Whittingham noted. Among admitted freshmen, the mean grade point average increased slightly from last year's 3.76 to 3.77 this year, and the SAT reasoning total (critical reading, mathematics, and writing) increased similarly, from 1787 to 1790.

The campus also has continued to increase the percentage of admitted California freshmen from underrepresented ethnic groups - to 24.6 percent this year, up from 23.4 percent last year. Chicanos and Latinos account for 3,484 (20.8 percent) of the California students UCSC admitted, up from 3,215 (19.9 percent) last year. The percentage of African Americans increased to 456 (2.7 percent) this year, up from 423 (2.6 percent) last year. Admitted American Indian students also increased, to 176 (1.1 percent) this year from 145 (.9 percent) last year.

Whittingham noted that the percentage also increased slightly - from 35.6 to 36.1 percent - of admitted students who would be the first in their family to graduate from college. "All of these increases are in the right direction, making the campus more reflective of the diverse ethnicity of the state of California," she said.

Thousands of admitted students and their families visited the campus during UCSC's "2010 Spring Spotlight" activities for admitted students. Held from April 2-10, activities included daily student-led walking tours-providing an overview of the academic, residential, and student-life experience at UCSC. Admitted students also participated in a virtual Spring Spotlight, organized by the Admissions Office on April 12 and 14. "This new initiative gave prospective freshmen - especially those who couldn't travel to the campus - an opportunity to chat with Admissions staff," Whittingham said.

Related information:

  • Admitted freshmen have until May 1 to file a "statement of intent to register," indicating their intention to enroll at UCSC. The campus's admissions decisions for this coming fall are based on its goal of enrolling 3,200 freshmen; that is a slight reduction (14) from the number of freshmen who enrolled in fall 2009. "Due to reductions in state support, our goal is to enroll approximately the same number of new students as we did in the current year," Whittingham said.

  • In the 2010-11 year, UC's Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan will be expanded to include eligible resident undergraduates with family incomes up to $70,000. Students are assured that they will receive gift assistance that will, at a minimum, cover all their mandatory systemwide fees during the academic year.

    Other students with financial need will have half of the 2010-11 fee increase covered if their parents' income falls below $120,000 - an increase in the cap from $100,000 in prior years. Middle-income families also will continue to benefit from federal higher education tax credits in 2010.

Editor's Note: Michelle Whittingham, UCSC's associate vice chancellor of enrollment management and director of admissions, is available to discuss freshman admissions to the campus for fall 2010. To arrange an interview, please call (831) 459-2495.