UC Berkeley sees surge in freshman applications

The number of freshman applications to UC Berkeley increased dramatically from last year, with an especially significant increase in the amount of international and out of state applicants, according to data posted Thursday on the UC Office of the President’s website.

The campus received a record-breaking 61,661 applications for freshman admission, a 16.5 percent increase from last year. In 2010-2011, UC Berkeley freshman applications increased only 5.2 percent.

More dramatic still was the nearly 50 percent surge in out-of-state and international applications to the UC Berkeley class of 2016. This trend was visible across all UC campuses and likely reflects the university’s efforts to make up for state cuts to the UC by enrolling more out-of-state and international students, who pay substantially higher tuition.

Consistent with the UC-wide trend toward greater ethnic diversity among applicants, African American and Chicano/Latino applicants to UC Berkeley increased as a percentage of the applicant pool.

Applicants’ academic qualifications remained roughly the same: The average unweighted grade point average was 3.6, the same as last year’s, and the average SAT score rose to 1909, from 1906 last year.

According to an analysis posted on the website, changes in UC eligibility requirements as well as outreach efforts by admissions offices contributed to the increase in the size of the freshman applicant pool.

Transfer applications fell 2 percent at UC Berkeley and 4 percent systemwide. The cause of this decline is unclear.