UC Berkeley releases 2017-18 admissions data

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UC Berkeley has offered admission to more than 15,500 freshmen for the fall 2017 academic year, according to data released by the campus in conjunction with the UC.

The admitted students were chosen from a pool of more than 85,000 students — an 18.3 percent acceptance rate for incoming freshmen, up from last year’s 17.5 percent freshman admission rate.

UC Berkeley’s 15,500 high school student admissions offerings represent about 15 percent of the total offers made universitywide — more than 100,000 high school students were offered enrollment for fall 2017 on at least one of UC’s nine undergraduate campuses.

Campus transfer student admissions offerings make up about 19 percent of total UC transfer admission offers — more than 24,000 transfer students were accepted for this fall.

UC Berkeley continues to have the lowest rate of transfer student admission at 27.9 percent, up 1 percent from 2016. This year, 4,617 transfer students were offered admission compared to 4,632 in 2016-17. More than 90 percent of these offers went to transfer students from community colleges in California. 

UC Berkeley has a goal of admitting one California transfer student for every two California freshmen.

UCLA has the second-lowest rate of transfer admission at 28.1 percent. The acceptance rates then jump into the fifties and sixties for the seven remaining UC campuses.

First-generation college students — students whose parents did not attend college — represent a slightly larger share of UC Berkeley’s 2017-18 class than in previous years, increasing from about 1,600 to about 1,900.

As part of the 2016-17 state budget, the UC received $20 million in one-time funding dedicated to supporting the “admission, enrollment and success of underrepresented minority and low-income students.”

The number of unrepresented minorities — students who identify as American Indian, African American and Chicanx/Latinx — also increased incrementally. 343 more students from these groups were offered admission this year compared to the last, for a total of 2,881 offers.

The 2017 freshman class is made up of students from 74 countries, all 50 states and 49 of California’s 58 counties.

In its freshmen admissions, UC Berkeley admitted 0.4 percent fewer California residents this year as compared to last year — 9,715 students — while admission for out-of-state students jumped 28 percent to 4,490 students.

In May, the UC Board of Regents approved a systemwide out-of-state student enrollment cap. Beginning in fall 2018, all UC campuses will be capped at enrolling 18 percent nonresidents — unless a campus’s 2017-18 student-body composition of out-of-state students exceeds 18 percent. At those campuses, including UC Berkeley, nonresident enrollment will be capped at the level of nonresident enrollment for 2017-18.

Audrey McNamara is the executive news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @McNamaraAud.

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  • calebcar

    Last year applications for admission were over 100,000. This year 85,000. Looks like crackdown of free speech is beginning to hurt Berkeley’s reputation

  • UCLA’s acceptance rate was 16.1% this year

  • Purrelli

    What exactly is an “unrepresented minority”? Do these people need lawyers or something? Help me out here.

    • California Defender

      Ha! With a crackdown on illegal immigration, this may be a newly invented demographic. Or Orwellian newspeak. Perhaps both.

      • Purrelli

        Only the highly secretive admissions committee knows what it means. We do know what it doesn’t mean and that is “white”. By definition it’s racist to take a person’s skin color into account, yet that’s exactly what they are doing. Why ask what ethnicity a person is? What does it matter? Why not be truly “color blind”?

        • TN Thomas

          I’m always interested in how the need to be color blind is regarded of paramount importance when it’s fortuitous; when it’s otherwise clearly not ultimately of importance when it’s not…such as is evidenced by your comment. A previous study ascertained that when white students find themselves competing with a demographic with whom they feel they are at an academic disadvantage (namely, Asian students), they are quick and just as inclined to object that “factors besides grades” should carry considerably more weight in the decision making process – it’s ONLY when they regard the “other competition” as not on par academically (namely, underrepresented minorities) that they find voice to object to administering any standard beyond review of academic record.

          • Purrelli

            My brother is a teacher in public schools, and he told me that he noticed that the definition of “minority” that they taught in schools had been modified. No longer is it simply a race that is not the majority numbers wise, but the new definition is “people of color who historically have been disadvantaged due to their race”. Now, if White people comprise only 1% of the population, they are still the majority under this new definition. I’m sick of it. It’s time to stand up to this blatant racism against white people.

          • TN Thomas

            The pertinent term is not minority, but underrepresented minority – which are two very different propositions. The proportion of White students at the UCs is NOT inconsistent with their representation as part of the state’s population (much the way Asian-Americans at UCs, likewise, track (well) above their proportion as state citizens.) You are correct that “minority” carries no default intuitive implication of inclusion of a specific racial or ethnic group, but the argument that White California students (or White students nationally) do not reflect their numbers as part of general society is patently untrue.

            But – even if Whites were, in fact, underrepresented as a percentage of college students, that does not actually bear one whit on the relevance of my original point – that the composition of the demographic White students view as competitors for seats at universities has historically borne directly on the nature of objections White students typically raise when objecting to such (perceived) imbalances of representation. My entire point revolved not around what deficiencies in racial compositions at college campuses may exist, but how White students tend to tailor their challenges to such situations according to interchanging particular variables. It’s not an uncommon tactic, I grant you – precisely my point.

          • Purrelli

            TN Thomas – I am not protesting these policies only when they are fortuitous, I am protesting them because they are RACIST. Academia seems to think that discriminating against White people – and only White people – is perfectly OK. Well it is not. When I went to law school, this form of discrimination was rampant. Minorities got special treatment and got into schools they otherwise could not have. White students who should have gotten in were displaced. Now lets take this social experiment out on the street and see how smart it really is. Lets say I’m accused of murder. Do I pick up the phone book and look for the best Black criminal defense attorney??? No. I look for the BEST attorney. I don’t care what color they are. Neither should these schools. So what we are pumping out is not the best and the brightest with these policies, are we?

  • diogenes

    Audrey McNamara, thank you for publishing more pertinent information from this press release than other local media has so far managed to. However, several crucial numbers are still missing.

    What, firstly, is the total enrollment slated for UC Berkeley next year? And what was the total enrollment 20 years ago, in 1997?

    9,715 in state + 4490 out-of-state freshman admissions is 14,205 total but you say there are 15,500 total freshman admissions: what accounts for this discrepancy?

    4490 of 14,205 admissions is 31.6% non-resident admissions at Berkeley, as compared with a state-wide cap at 18%. What is the rationale for setting the cap at Berkeley 56% higher than statewide?

    Does any other campus diverge so widely from the norm? What is ratio at UCLA?

    The pointed relevance of all these figures will be evident to you. Your readers will be grateful if you will supply them. Thank you.