Data shows overall increase in enrollment, underrepresented minorities

Overall enrollment at UC Berkeley has increased by about 300 students since last fall, bringing the total number of students to over 36,000, according to data released Wednesday by the campus.

The data shows a numerical increase in enrollment for almost every ethnic category, including underrepresented minorities, over the past year. The number of first-year international student enrollments increased as well.

The number of transfer student enrollments, which also jumped since last fall, experienced a similar increase in underrepresented minorities and international students.

Overall, the numbers fall in line with last year’s data, according to campus spokesperson Janet Gilmore.

The number of freshman international students enrolling annually has increased since 2007, from 2.8 to 13.7 percent. This year marked a 2.3 percent increase since last year.

The percentage of underrepresented minorities — which includes African American, Hispanic and Native American students — had been on the decline in newly enrolled freshmen, from 15.2 percent of newly enrolled freshman in 2007 to 13.9 percent in 2010. This semester, the percentage increased for the first time since 2007 to 14.3 percent.

Among newly enrolled transfer students, the percentage of underrepresented minorities has also increased since last year, from 18.8 to 20.7 percent.

“We are pleased to see some increases in the number of underrepresented students, as well as transfer, international and other students,” Gilmore said in an email.

This year, the percentage of white, newly enrolled freshmen at UC Berkeley is 27.1 percent — a 3.3 percent decrease since 2009, according to the campus data. White students comprise 34.7 percent of newly enrolled transfer students — up from 32.9 percent last year.

Additionally, students of Asian descent compose about 42.3 percent of newly enrolled freshmen on campus — a nearly 2 percent increase over last year. Only 23.5 percent of newly enrolled transfer students on campus are of Asian descent — down from 27 percent last year.

Systemwide, underrepresented minorities made up about 27 percent of California resident freshmen who enrolled in fall 2010, and newly enrolled white freshmen made up around the same percentage, according to data from the UC Office of the President. Systemwide data for fall 2011 is not yet available.