UCSC's fall class is increasingly selective and includes more first-generation students

UC Santa Cruz has offered admission to 60.5 percent of high school seniors who applied for the fall 2012 quarter, a prospective class that includes more California residents and a higher number of students who would be the first in their family to earn a four-year degree.

Numbers released today (April 17) by the University of California’s Office of the President show UCSC offered admission to 19,936 applicants of the record 32,954 high school seniors who applied for a freshman spot. Of those, 44.8 percent would be the first in their family to graduate from a four-year university, the highest total ever for the UCSC campus. It represents an increase over 40.4 percent in fall 2011, and 36.1 percent in 2010.

“Each year we’ve become increasingly selective but continue to admit excellent students who reflect the diverse population of our state,” said Michael McCawley, UCSC’s director of admissions. A year ago, UC Santa Cruz offered admission to 19,074 freshmen applicants for an admission rate of 67.9 percent.

UCSC became more selective while offering admission to more California high school seniors (18,265) than a year ago (17,917), reflecting the campus’s continued commitment to provide a place for qualified state residents who wish to attend.

“It’s gratifying that we continue to provide access and opportunity for our California students who work so hard to pursue a UC degree,” McCawley said.

UCSC plans to enroll 3,700 new freshmen for fall 2012, a number that will keep overall undergraduate enrollment the same as the 2011-2012 academic year.

UC Santa Cruz also increased the number of admission offers to out-of-state and international students. Admission offers increased 862 (4.5 percent) over fall 2011. Included were offers to 348 additional California residents, 306 more out of state, and 208 more international.

“Seeing increased interest in our campus from students from other states and around the world underscores the recognition that UCSC is gaining as a world-class research university,”  McCawley said.

As in past years, UCSC also continued to admit higher percentages of students from low-income families (39.4 percent) compared with 34.8 percent in 2011, and under-performing high schools (27.2 percent) compared with 22.5 percent in 2011.

UCSC admitted more California freshmen from underrepresented ethnic groups. Chicanos and Latinos account for 5,201 (28.5 percent) of admitted students, up from 4,570 (25.5 percent) in 2011, and 3,484 (20.8 percent) in 2010. The number of African Americans increased to 682 (3.7 percent) this year, up from 569 (3.2 percent) last year.

The expected ethnic composition of the 2012 fall class would move UCSC closer to qualifying as a Hispanic Serving Institution in which 25 percent of students are of Hispanic origin, a campus goal. It would make UCSC eligible for incentives to boost retention and graduation rates and provide recognition for the long-standing efforts to more closely reflect the ethnic composition of California.

“It is particularly gratifying to see the diversity of this year’s admitted frosh,” McCawley said, “especially the gains in underrepresented and underserved students. Our entire campus community – faculty, staff, students, and alums – are committed to make UCSC accessible to a broad range of deserving students.”

The University of California adjusted its admission policy this year to cast a broader net to admit and enroll students with strengths that go beyond high grades and test scores.  In addition, UCSC adopted a new selection process similar to other UC campuses for fall 2012. The new “holistic review” continued to take into account a wide range of academic and non-academic achievements in the context of the opportunities available to each applicant.

Admitted freshmen  have until May 1 to accept their admission offer.

Michael McCawley, UC Santa Cruz director of admissions, is available to discuss freshman admissions for fall 2012. To arrange an interview, please call (831) 459-2495.