The University of California Office of the President reported Monday that the UC system received a record number of applicants in the 2015-16 application cycle.
This is the 12th consecutive year that the UC system has received record-high applicants. The number of applicants for fall 2016 — 206,339 freshmen and transfer students — is a 6.4 percent increase from fall 2015. All UC campuses saw application increases, and UC Berkeley in particular had a gain of 5.8 percent.
Moreover, this year marks a significant milestone for UC Berkeley as the campus broke a record by receiving more than 100,000 fall 2016 applications.
Over the past several admission cycles, UC Berkeley has seen a steady increase in applications, and the trend was expected to continue, according to campus spokesperson Janet Gilmore. But the number of freshmen and transfer applicants — 101, 655 — was not anticipated to be so large, Gilmore explained.
With regard to campuswide issues such as housing and classroom overcrowding, however, these statistics may raise some concerns over whether these problems will worsen.
“While the university decides admission, whether students actually decide to apply is their choice. And this year we see an increase in interest across the board,” Gilmore said. “That’s good news.”
Still, the university will see an increase in acceptances of in-state residents, adhering to the UC Board of Regents’ November ruling.
Another trend in this year’s statistics for all campuses is the increase in Latinos and African American applicants. With regard to UC Berkeley, African American and Chicano-Latino applicants grew to 6.7 percent and 5.6 percent, respectively, with no marked decline in applicants from other minorities.
Gilmore reported that the university is pleased with these numbers.
“The university is dedicated to having a campus population, particularly with regard to California populations, that is diverse,” Gilmore said.
UC Berkeley is also introducing new changes to its admission process. Campus will now notify a select 2,000 freshmen applicants of early acceptance Feb. 12 as opposed to the usual March 24 deadline. This early notification will include students who are eligible to apply for the Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholarship, UC Berkeley’s top scholarship.
“The earlier notification will allow top students more time to explore the option of becoming Berkeley students.” Gilmore said in a statement.
For years, UC Berkeley has allowed some freshmen to submit letters of recommendation, but this year, UC Berkeley is expanding the opportunity to a greater pool of freshmen applicants.
Letters of recommendation are only requested if they are deemed helpful to the review process, and students can choose not to accept the offer. If the student decides to submit letters of recommendation, they must submit one from a teacher and one from a person of the applicant’s choosing.
But the changes pertaining to early notification and letters of recommendation do not apply to transfer applicants.
Likewise, the campus also increased the number of incoming freshmen who can participate in the Global Edge Program. The 2016-17 program will now include not only London, but also Rome and Madrid.