Fall 2013 freshman class at UC Santa Cruz is one of the most selective

UC Santa Cruz is expecting to enroll approximately 3,500 new freshman for fall 2013, one of the most selective and diverse classes in its history. (Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta)

After receiving a record number 38,515 applications, UC Santa Cruz has offered admission to fewer than half of freshman applicants, making fall 2013 one of its most selective classes.

Numbers published today (April 18) by the University of California’s Office of the President show UCSC offered admission to 18,703 applicants for an admit rate of 48.6 percent compared with 60.5 percent a year ago. The academic profile of freshmen offered admission reflects UCSC’s increasing selectivity, with a mean grade point average of 3.86 and increases in all ACT and SAT test scores.

“Our more selective 'admit' rate is a reflection of two things: a record number of applications and a smaller number of openings,” said UCSC Director of Admissions Michael McCawley. “We have admitted a very talented group of students from a very talented group of applicants.”

McCawley attributes UCSC's increased popularity to many factors. "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," he said.

UCSC officials are aiming for a fall 2013 freshman class of 3,500 students – approximately 300 fewer than fall 2012 – with about 94 percent of incoming freshmen being California residents, McCawley said.

“Last year we had more students accept their offers of admission and enroll than we anticipated, so we need to reduce the size of this year’s incoming class,” McCawley said. “I wish we could accommodate more students, but we must ensure that those we do enroll have a high-quality experience at our campus.”

UCSC received significantly more applications from out-of-state residents than a year ago. Applications from international students were up 68 percent. Offers of admission to "non-residents" increased for both out-of-state students and international students, accounting for 16.4 percent of all admission offers. The campus expects to enroll approximately 200 new non-resident freshmen in the fall.

“Increasing the number of non-resident undergraduates is an important goal for UCSC,” said Chancellor George Blumenthal. “Not only do they add to the geographic diversity of our campus, but the additional tuition will help offset some of the budget cuts we've endured. We continue to primarily serve our California students, and our enrollment goals reflect that commitment,” Blumenthal added.

Percentages of students considered “first-generation” and those coming from low-income families decreased slightly to levels comparable to fall 2011. Thirty-nine percent of admitted freshmen are from families where neither parent has a four-year college degree.

The fall 2013 admitted class of California residents continues to be diverse, reflecting the demographics of the state, with 33.4 percent white/other, 31.6 percent Asian American, 27 percent Hispanic/Latino, 3.6 percent African American, 0.6 percent American Indian, and 0.3 percent Pacific Islander. An additional 3.5 percent of admitted students did not report their race/ethnicity.

“In a year where we denied more than half of our applicants, I’m glad to see that ethnic and socioeconomic diversity is holding steady,” McCawley said.

UCSC offered an opportunity to be on a waiting list to 2,573 freshmen – all UC qualified – who were denied admission. Admitted freshmen have until May 1 to accept their admission offer.