UCSC receives more than 40,000 undergraduate applications for fall 2012

ucsc sign
A record number of undergraduate applications – more than 40,000 – have been submitted to UC Santa Cruz for fall 2012 admission.
(Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta)
Students at the remodeled McHenry Library
UC Santa Cruz students visit the newly remodeled and expanded McHenry Library at the heart of the campus. (Photo by Phil Carter)

More than 40,000 prospective undergraduates – the most ever – have applied for admission to the University of California, Santa Cruz for the fall 2012 quarter.

Data released today by UC's Office of the President show that UC Santa Cruz attracted a record 32,941 applications from high school seniors and 7,681 applications from transfer students during the university's November "priority" filing period.

The number of applicants for freshman admission was up 17.2 percent, the second highest increase in the UC system next only to UCLA at 18.1 percent.

California residents submitted 90 percent of UCSC's freshman applications for fall 2012 – 29,639 – a 13.4 percent increase over 2011, the highest in the UC system. 

"We are committed to California students, and our increase reflects a lot of individuals' efforts in encouraging California students to apply," said UCSC Director of Admissions Michael McCawley.

"The interest we have received from prospective undergraduates is gratifying and speaks to the fact that prospective students and their families recognize the distinctive educational experience at UC Santa Cruz – our academic strengths, access to faculty, high research impact, residential colleges, and the natural beauty of our campus overlooking the Monterey Bay and close to Silicon Valley," McCawley said.

A year ago, UC Santa Cruz received 36,262 applications from prospective undergraduates –  28,098 from prospective freshmen and 8,164 from prospective transfer students.

Applications from out-of-state and international students also increased to all-time highs, both in number and percentage, McCawley said. The increases reflect the growing interest in UCSC from students beyond the state's borders.  Last year, Times Higher Education ranked UCSC third in the world for the impact of its research, ranking the campus behind only Princeton and MIT. “Recognitions like these speak to students from around the world about the important role our faculty play on an international stage,” McCawley said.

Academic quality of first-year applicants remains high, consistent with the last several years. 

Increases were seen in applications from students coming from low-socioeconomic backgrounds, those who would be the first in their family to graduate from a four-year university, and who attended low-performing California high schools.

The ethnic diversity of applicants also increased.  The campus saw year-over-year increases of 211 African American first-year applicants (17 percent); Chicano/Latino (1,596, 22.3 percent); and Asian American (1,199, 15.6 percent). Applications from Chicano/Latino students amounted to 29.6 percent of the total, moving UCSC closer to the goal of being a Hispanic Serving Institution in which at least 25 percent of undergraduates are Chicano/Latino.

"UCSC is committed to attracting, admitting, and enrolling students who are truly reflective of the diversity of the state of California," McCawley said.  The increases "reflect the work of our faculty, students, alumni, and staff, particularly those working with our educational partnership programs."

Depending on California’s state budget, UCSC expects enrollment to remain about the same for fall 2012, McCawley said, with approximately 3,700 new first-year students, and 1,250 new transfer students.

All campuses in the UC system except for Merced showed a slight downturn in transfer applications for fall 2012.  UCSC showed an increase of 674 over 2010, 9.6 percent.  "We continue to give junior-level students coming from California community colleges the highest priority in admissions," McCawley said.

Undergraduate applicants to UCSC will be notified of admission decisions beginning on March 15. Admitted freshmen will have until May 1 to indicate their intention to enroll at UC Santa Cruz. The deadline for transfer students is June 1.