UCSC receives 'intent to register' statements from 3,700 prospective freshmen

Approximately 3,700 prospective freshmen have made formal commitments to attend UC Santa Cruz this fall, based on systemwide data released today by the University of California.

Ethnic diversity increases among probable members of this fall's new students
As of May 1, UCSC had received 3,718 statements of Intent to Register (SIRs) from prospective freshmen expressing their intent to enroll. The actual number of new students will not be known until fall.

"We are very gratified by the very strong interest these students have shown in the University of California, Santa Cruz," said Chancellor George Blumenthal. "Their interest is a reflection of the superb quality of UCSC's people and programs."

The numbers in this year's freshman admissions cycle speak to the campus's increasing popularity with students, added Michelle Whittingham, UCSC's associate vice chancellor of enrollment management and director of admissions. In January, UC officials announced that UCSC attracted 34,630 applications from high school seniors and transfer students during the university's "priority filing" period of November 1-30 - a 5.4 percent one-year jump. The number includes applications from 27,623 prospective freshmen.

"The students we met during the admissions cycle this year were really drawn to this extraordinary campus-and its twin commitment to undergraduate education and world-class research," she said.

UCSC's freshman enrollment target for fall 2010 remains at the same level as last year: 3,200. "Given the continuing budget uncertainties for the state, our goal is to have freshman enrollment remain essentially flat," Whittingham said. The number of SIRs submitted by May 1 is a higher number than the eventual class size this fall, she added. Some students, for example, accept offers of admission at multiple universities, while others may not meet the conditions of their admission.

For the first time ever, UCSC offered some prospective freshmen an opportunity to be considered on a waitlist. Given the number of SIRs that UCSC received from students who were admitted, the campus was unable this year to admit any of the 1,181 students who were offered space on the waitlist.

With the campus having received SIRs from approximately 3,700 prospective freshmen for the upcoming fall quarter, Whittingham said two attributes of the class stand out: These students' academic profile remains strong, both in average GPA and test scores; and UCSC also continued to attract a higher percentage of students from underrepresented ethnic groups, from students coming from low-income backgrounds, and from students who will be the first in their family to earn a four-year degree.

"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 diversity of UCSC's incoming freshman class."

The average GPA for the incoming freshmen is 3.61. The average SAT-Reasoning scores were also strong for this fall's freshmen: 1700 composite, 562 critical reading, 563 writing, and 576 mathematics. "We continue to be impressed with the academic credentials of our incoming freshmen," Whittingham said.

The percentage of underrepresented students among the incoming freshman class increased to 28.9 percent, up from last year's 25.5 percent. Of the incoming frosh, 27.8 percent of the students are Asian American/Pacific Islander. "We are especially excited that 43 percent of our incoming freshman class will be the first in their families to earn a 4-year college degree, and that 28.5 percent of the freshmen come from low-income backgrounds (from families earning less than $40,000)," Whittingham added. "All of these numbers underscore our ability to create access and opportunities for highly diverse groups of students, something that our campus takes great pride in."

The UC system today also released numbers of community college students who have filed SIRs with UC's nine general campuses. At UCSC, 1,307 transfer students from community colleges throughout California have expressed their intent to enroll this fall. UCSC's enrollment target for transfer students in the 2010-11 academic year is 1,200. Since the campus is confident it will meet that target when the academic year begins, UCSC will not be accepting transfer applications for winter 2011.

"The UC system has made it a priority to expand access to transfer students from California's Community Colleges, so we are particularly pleased with the strong interest these students showed in UC Santa Cruz for the coming year," Whittingham said. She also noted that the percentage of transfer students from underrepresented backgrounds increased significantly among transfer students planning on enrolling at UCSC: from 23.7 percent last fall to 27.2 percent this fall.

Related information:

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

. For 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.