UC Berkeley receives record number of applications for fall admission

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Applications for undergraduate admission at UC campuses rose for the 10th consecutive year, including a record number of students applying to UC Berkeley.

UC Berkeley received 73,711 applications for freshman admission and 16,573 transfer applications for fall 2014, an overall increase of almost 8 percent compared to last year.

“The increase in applications shows that interest in attending UC Berkeley remains high, both inside and outside of the state,” said UC Berkeley spokesperson Janet Gilmore in an email. “We’re pleased to see that, year after year, demand remains high, at record levels, and the academic strength of the applicant pool remains high as well.”

 Applications from California residents seeking freshman admission to UC campuses increased from last year despite an expected decline in the number of California high school graduates. Students who identify as Chicano or Latino constituted the largest block of overall applicants for the second consecutive year, with 40,239 applications, or 31.2 percent of total applications. Other racial or ethnic groups saw a decline in applicants, including African American, Pacific Islander and white students.

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“We’re seeing — quite naturally — a reflection of the state’s population trends as a whole,” said UC spokesperson Dianne Klein. “I think the numbers are a testament to the value of a UC education. The university offers a world-class education for an affordable price.”

At UC Berkeley, the percentage of freshman applicants who would be the first in their families to graduate from college increased slightly, while the percentage of freshman applicants applying from low-performing high schools decreased slightly. The number of freshman applicants from out-of-state or international locations rose sharply compared to last year, by 19.9 and 18.3 percents, respectively. The number of applicants from California rose by 3.2 percent compared to the number of California applicants for fall 2013.

“We’ve always had strong interest from students outside of California, but the increase is likely also a reflection of campus recruitment efforts, including past efforts, which laid the groundwork,” Gilmore said.

Amy Jarich, UC Berkeley’s assistant vice chancellor and director of undergraduate admissions, said word of mouth from students and alumni has helped make the UC Berkeley brand more powerful to non-Californian applicants.

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“I do think that the alumni who are out there are very strong voices and are helping us to tell the power of a Berkeley education,” Jarich said. “We have about 20 percent of our population now on campus who are coming from outside California, and they’re going home and telling their family about how much they enjoy being on campus.”

UCLA, which in the past has received the most applications of any four-year university nationwide, received 105,824 applications — the most among the UC campuses this year.

Mitchell Handler covers academics and administration. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @mitchellhandler.