UCSC sees sharp increase in undergraduate applications for fall

ucsc students
Students gather at College Nine, one of 10 living, learning communities at UC Santa Cruz. The UCSC campus has received a  record number of undergraduate applications for fall 2013 admission. (Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta)

More than 46,000 prospective undergraduates – the most ever – have applied for admission to the University of California, Santa Cruz for the fall 2013 quarter.

Data released today by UC's Office of the President show that UC Santa Cruz attracted a record 38,507 applications from high school seniors and 8,133 applications from transfer students during the university's November "priority" filing period.

UCSC had the highest increase – 16.9 percent – of freshman applications in the UC system. The increase in transfer applications was the second highest in the UC system at 5.9 percent.

Applications to the campus showed increases across many different demographics. While applications from California residents increased by 14.9 percent, applications from out-of-state and international first-year applicants increased sharply and to all-time highs: up 67 percent to 2,480 from international students and 8 percent from out-of-state students to 1,963. 

"These numbers underscore how prospective students from around the world are interested in studying at our campus," said Michael McCawley, UCSC's director of admissions. "Our commitment to undergraduate education at a major research campus has helped to build students' excitement about being a part of this amazing campus community."

UCSC ranks second in the world for the impact of its research as measured by the average number of times its faculty's published work is cited by scholars around the world, according to a survey published last fall by Times Higher Education. The campus is also ranked seventh overall in the world among universities founded within the last 50 years.

"Prospective students and their families recognize the distinctive educational experience at UC Santa Cruz – our academic strengths, access to faculty, high research impact, the 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 40,622 applications from prospective undergraduates – 32,941 from prospective freshmen and 7,681 from prospective transfer students.

Almost half of the applications for fall 2013 from California high school seniors – 46.7 percent – came from students who are in the first generation of their family to graduate from a four-year university, above the 43.9 percent a year ago and 41.2 percent in 2011.

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

The ethnic diversity of California applicants also increased.  The campus saw year-over-year increases of 286 African American first-year applicants (19.8 percent); Chicano/Latino (2,455, 30 percent); and Asian American (1,205, 13.6 percent). Applications from California Chicano/Latino high school students amounted to 33 percent of the total, moving UCSC closer to the goal of being a Hispanic Serving Institution in which at least 25 percent of all undergraduates are Chicano/Latino.

“Diversification of our undergraduate students continues to be a goal of our campus,” McCawley said. “We seek greater ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographic diversity, so our application increases in these areas is extremely gratifying.”  the increases "reflect the work of our faculty, students, alumni, and staff, particularly those working with our educational partnership programs," he said.

UCSC expects fall 2013 enrollment to remain about the same as the current year, McCawley said, with approximately 3,700 new first-year students, and 1,200 new transfer students.

Applications were received from 8,133 transfer students, up from 7,681 in 2012.  "We continue to give junior-level students coming from California community colleges the highest priority in admissions," McCawley said. “Our thanks go out to our partners at the community colleges who continue to send us well-prepared transfer students to earn their UCSC degree.”

Undergraduate applicants to UCSC will be notified of admission decisions beginning on March 15 (March 17 for transfer students). 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.