Over 206,000 students applied to at least one UC campus for the fall 2016 quarter, UC officials announced Monday, setting a new record for the 12th year in a row with a 6.4 percent increase from last year.
At UC Santa Cruz freshman applicants increased by 7.9 percent with 49,133 total applicants, while transfer student applicants saw a 13.3 percent increase with 9,969 applications.
In response to the flood of applicants the UC hopes to increase enrollment by 5,000 California student residents next year, adding to an overall goal of 10,000 in-state residents over the next three years, said UC President Janet Napolitano.
“The commitment is from the UC president, as the person who is working most closely with the state legislature and the governor, who has wanted to see more students accommodated in the UC system,” said Michael McCawley, UCSC director of admissions. “And as a UC campus, we need to do our part toward that goal as well.”
This year the UC application deadline was extended for transfer students from Nov. 30 to Jan. 4 with the hope to expand enrollment.
“Lengthening the application window will help us meet this goal of expanding access to UC for California students, particularly California community college students,” said UC Office of the President (UCOP) media specialist Kate Moser. “This is in line with our goal to admit two freshmen students for every one transfer student.”
Moser said UCOP’s goal to encourage more transfer applicants was successful, with numbers rising 11.8 percent since last year.
McCawley said the system-wide enrollment increase doesn’t necessarily mean UCSC will get an undergraduate student surge. Rather, UCSC will admit students when there are space and resources available.
“What people would like right now is ‘show us the picture,’ and I’m not sure we’re quite there yet, and so that creates some angst,” McCawley said. “As a campus, we have a track record of really being thoughtful about growth issues.”
Though students won’t learn of their admission decision until March, UCSC had a 51.1 percent acceptance rate for freshman for the 2015 school year, and a 57.5 percent rate for incoming transfers.
Despite concern, McCawley isn’t shaken. He’s certain the campus can handle any growth with added resources, but the planning hasn’t reached that point yet.
“We don’t know what the final enrollment growth will look like for next year; that’s still being kind of hammered out,” McCawley said. “[UCOP] has been working very closely with the campuses to identify what the issues might be, who can grow and who can’t grow.”