Because of a demographic bulge, applicants to all the University of California's nine undergraduate campuses faced somewhat worse odds of getting admitted as freshmen this fall, officials reported Monday.
Still, 60,008 California students, a record high, were offered coveted freshman spots by at least one UC school.
The UC system accepted 75.3% of its California applicants, down from 77.4% last year.
That change was attributed mainly to the rise in the number of high school seniors, a trend that is expected to peak next year and then decline.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday, April 16, 2008 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 58 words Type of Material: Correction
UC admissions: A headline on an article in Tuesday's California section about freshman admission to the University of California said, "As more applied to UCs, fewer got in." In fact, as the story said, a record number of California applicants were offered freshman admission to the University of California, although the percentage of applicants who were admitted declined.
"This was a particularly difficult year for freshman admissions," said Susan Wilbur, the UC system's director of undergraduate admissions, citing both the increase in applicants and the threat of reduced state funding to provide for them. Overall, the number of in-state applications rose from 74,056 last year to 79,661.
"We are in a very challenging environment but we did everything we could to provide access to the high-quality education that our students in California have come to expect," Wilbur said.
It was somewhat harder this year to get into UC campuses, but administrators say no students who met the academic entrance requirements were fully turned away. But they might not have gotten into their top choices, and 8,400 of them were offered enrollment at two campuses to which they didn't even apply, Riverside and Merced.
UCLA again had the most applicants and was the least likely to open its gate, with only 22.1% accepted there. That was followed very closely by UC Berkeley's 22.2%. The highest rate of acceptance was at UC Riverside, with 76.9%.
Last year, about half of all admitted applicants actually showed up at a UC campus in the fall, and administrators are hoping that rate does not increase much this year.
Admitted students generally have until May 1 to notify schools whether they will enroll.
If the deficit-driven budget cuts proposed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger are upheld by the Legislature, the UC system may have to freeze or cut enrollment for the 2009-10 school year.
Statewide, UC admission offers to Latinos and African Americans increased somewhat. Latinos constituted about 21% of admitted students and blacks about 4%. Asian Americans made up 34% of the accepted pool and whites 34.4%, both slightly down from last year.
UCLA two years ago faced criticism for its very low African American student population. In the fall of 2006, it had dropped to 103 freshmen, or 2.2% of the class. However, that situation improved last year as, among other efforts, alumni raised private scholarship money that helped to nearly double the number of black freshmen, to 203. In addition, the application process was changed to allow more review of students' personal achievements.
On Monday, UCLA announced that more African Americans and Latinos had been offered freshman entrance for this fall. For blacks, that rose from 407 last year to 440 (3.7% of the admit pool) and for Latinos from 1,474 to 1,682 (14.1% of those accepted).
State universities are banned from using race as a criterion in admissions or financial aid.
Janina Montero, UCLA's vice chancellor for student affairs, thanked alumni and others for providing private financial aid for black students for a second year. "While there is still work to be done in terms of encouraging these students to decide to come to UCLA next fall, we are extremely grateful for the interest and dedication of the broader UCLA family," she said in a prepared statement.
The UC system also offered admission to more than 7,500 out-of-state and international students, keeping its traditional 10% of undergraduates from outside California.
Non-Californians pay much higher fees at UC than in-state students and generally must present higher grades and test scores for admission. "These are exceptionally well qualified students who we feel will make an addition to our campuses," Wilbur said.
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UC admissions The number of in-state applicants and the percentages accepted at the University of California's nine undergraduate campuses for the fall 2008 freshman class.
*--* Campus Applicants Accepted *--*
*--* UCLA 46,678 22.1% Berkeley 38,740 22.2% San Diego 42,233 40.2% Irvine 39,247 49.0% Santa Barbara 43,023 49.7% Davis 37,747 52.4% Santa Cruz 25,746 74.3% Merced 9,980 76.7% Riverside 21,224 76.9% *--*
Source: University of California