UC Berkeley admission numbers show slight increase in admission of underrepresented groups, decrease in admission overall

Ariel Lung/Staff

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Preliminary data on the 2018-19 UC transfer and freshman admits indicates an 8 percent increase in admission of transfer applicants, as well as a slight increase in admission of historically underrepresented groups and first-generation students.

While the proportion of transfer students and freshman admits from underrepresented groups remained at 38 percent systemwide, UC Berkeley’s percentage increased. Although there were incremental increases in the campus’s number of Latinx and Black admits, there were slight decreases in the campus’s Native American and Pacific Islander admit numbers, according to data from the UC Office of the President, or UCOP.

“While we would like to see even greater numbers, we are pleased that the data show that we are generally moving in the right direction on those fronts,” said campus spokesperson Janet Gilmore in an email. “There is more work to do, including on the American-Indian student front, where we have not seen a sustained increase in admission numbers.”

Gilmore also said in an email that the overall number of admissions for freshmen and transfers decreased because of the cap on out-of-state enrollment.

The campus is committed to making sure the admission pool represents all of California through outreach in the form of high school visits and college fairs, according to Gilmore. Additionally, campus officials partner with student organizations that focus on K–12 outreach, such as recruitment and retention centers.

Richard Pulvera, executive director of the Pilipinx Academic Student Services, or PASS, and a rising campus senior, said he was happy to see an increase in transfer applicants, affirming to him that the university is committed to “supporting community college as a viable and valid route to higher education.”

PASS, alongside other groups within the bridges Multicultural Resource Center, such as the Black Recruitment and Retention Center, or BRRC, engage in community outreach to inspire young students to strive for higher education, whether that be at UC Berkeley or any higher education institution, according to Pulvera.

BRRC reaches out to hundreds of students every year in the form of statewide outreach trips, as well as on- and off-campus events, such as overnight stays, according to rising campus junior and BRRC Recruitment Director Blessing James.

“BRRC plays a large role in introducing the world of UC Berkeley and higher education to (Black students),” James said in an email. “If not us, then no one would. Although we do rely on staff occasionally, this work is all student-run.”

According to James, the administration could do more to improve these numbers. As organizations within bridges work on tight budgets, James believes that a bigger budget and more administrative support would lead to more recruitment.

“For our organization specifically, we have watched our numbers crawl and the low percentage is evident on our campus through lack of visibility and resources,” James said in an email. “It is hard for our organization in particular to see other numbers continue to rise rather quickly and then look to the percentages of Black and Native American students (for example) crawl or even stagnate.”

Contact Mani Sandhu at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @ManiSandhu24.