UC Santa Cruz prepares to welcome new, returning students for fall 2013

Forty percent of new frosh are from previously underrepresented groups, 44 percent are 'first-generation' college students

students move into residence hall
New students move into their rooms at Oakes College last year. (Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta)

UC Santa Cruz students are scheduled to begin moving into university housing Wednesday, September 18, in anticipation of fall quarter for the 2013-14 school year. "Move-in" for students living on campus will continue through Sunday, September 22.

Approximately 4,300 new undergraduate students are expected when fall-quarter classes begin Thursday, September 26. UCSC is also expecting approximately 420 new graduate students.

Of the new undergraduate students, 3,300 will be new freshmen and 1,000 new junior-level transfers; with nearly 98 percent of transfer students coming directly from California's community colleges. Cabrillo College accounts for the largest number of transfer students with 144 joining the campus this fall.

“The start of a fall quarter is truly an exciting time,” said Michael McCawley, UCSC’s director of admissions. “We were more selective in admissions for both frosh and transfers this year, so our incoming students are academically talented and well-prepared to succeed in their studies.

More globally diverse
“We have students coming from throughout California, from other states, and other countries, making for a more globally diverse class,” McCawley said. “California students make up more than 90 percent of our incoming frosh and we have transfer students coming from 95 of the state's 112 community colleges – those numbers reflect our commitment to California residents.”  

Almost 40 percent of the 2013 freshman class will be comprised of students from ethnic backgrounds that have been traditionally underrepresented within the UC system – African-American/Black, American Indian/Alaskan Native, and Hispanic ethnicities.The 39.8 percent is slightly higher than last fall's 39.2 percent, continuing an upward trend. Fall 2011's class included 33.9 percent of students from underrepresented groups.

This fall's freshman class is also expected to comprise 34 percent from Hispanic or Latino backgrounds and 28 percent who are Asian American. Approximately 31 percent identify themselves as white/Caucasian. The percentage of African American students is expected to increase to 4.8 percent from 4 percent a year ago and from 3.6 percent two years ago. Unknown or unspecified ethnicity is 1.5 percent.

"That we were able to slightly increase our ethnic diversity is a tribute to all the hard work of our campus community, especially our students,” McCawley said. “We must continue to be attentive to the ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographic diversity of our incoming students.”

Forty-four percent of incoming frosh are first-generation students where neither parent has a four-year college degree. Students coming from low-income households (below $40,000 annually) comprise a little more than 33 percent of incoming frosh.

Non-resident students, those coming from other states and other countries, will make up slightly more than 8 percent of the new frosh.

Academic interests
More than one-quarter (28.3 percent) of the incoming freshman class has yet to declare a major.

Among the frosh who have indicated a major:

  • 23.6 percent intend to major in the Physical & Biological Sciences – most popular major: molecular, cell, and developmental biology;
  • 22.9 percent in the Social Sciences – most popular: psychology;
  • 16.2 percent in Engineering – most popular: computer science;
  • 5.2 percent in Humanities – most popular: literature;
  • 3.8 percent in the Arts – most popular: film & digital media.

2013–2014 projected enrollment
Final enrollment for the fall quarter will not be known until after the third week of classes.  UCSC's three-quarter average enrollment for the 2013-2014 academic year is projected to be 16,450, approximately 300 fewer than were enrolled in the 2012-2013 academic year.

Housing UCSC students
UCSC has assigned approximately 8,100 of the nearly 8,400 bed spaces available in university provided housing this fall. Included are about 4,100 continuing students who will be living in campus-provided housing again this year.

At Merrill College, a renewal project began this summer that includes a facelift for the exteriors of the nearly 45-year-old Merrill A and B residence halls. Inside, 215 rooms were updated with new paint, carpet, lighting, windows, and furniture; new lounges and social spaces were created and improvements added for energy efficiency. The project includes completely renovated bathrooms, new accessible bathrooms, expanded laundry rooms in A, and new card access door locks.

A welcome for new students and opening day activities are scheduled at Merrill for Saturday.

Move-in schedule
Detailed information about move-in activities may be found at: housing.ucsc.edu/move-in/ Information about transportation, parking lot availability, and closures is available at: taps.ucsc.edu/

Welcome Week activities
Once new students arrive, numerous events and activities are planned to welcome them to campus, as well as welcome back returning students. Sessions include tours of the library and other campus resources, as well as academic advising.

Specific activities include the annual back-to-school trip to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Monday evening, September 23, and the OPERS Fall Festival, Tuesday, September 24. Details on the many activities are available at: admissions.ucsc.edu/orientation/.

About UC Santa Cruz
UC Santa Cruz is renowned for the outstanding educational experience it provides for  students. It has earned national distinction as a major research university with a commitment to progressive, bold, and fearless inquiry in teaching and public service that benefits both the individual and the planet.

Undergraduates pursue course work in 60 majors in the arts, engineering, humanities, physical and biological sciences, and social sciences. Graduate students work toward master's degrees, doctoral degrees, and graduate certificates in 34 academic fields.

On a campus with world-class facilities and one of the most spectacular settings in higher education, faculty and students continue to augment UCSC's impressive record of achievement. UCSC people, including nearly 90,000 alumni, are leaders in virtually every field. The campus is increasingly acknowledged for the positive impact it has on all aspects of society.