UC admits record number of freshman, transfer students

Pie charts of ethnicity distribution of freshman and transfer admits
Tiffany Nguyen/Staff

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The UC system admitted a record number of freshman and transfer students for the 2019-20 school year, according to Elisa Smith, a UC Office of the President, or UCOP, spokesperson.

This year 108,178 freshmen were admitted to the system, while 108,017 received offers of admission last year, Smith said in an email. She added that transfer admissions remained similar to last year, with the UC system admitting 28,752 for the 2019-20 academic year. The UC system also welcomed a record number of transfer students from community colleges, she stated in the email.

This year’s hike in admissions offers can largely be attributed to the UC system’s plan to increase enrollment among California residents, according to Smith.

She added that this year’s increase in admission offers is representative of the UC system’s long-term plan to enroll an additional 2,500 undergraduates from California.  

“UC is focused on a long-range plan to help the state address the projected shortfall of 1.1 million college graduates in California,” Smith said in an email. “To do that, UC is working to produce 200,000 additional UC degrees by 2030.”

According to Smith, the transfer enrollment is also expected to increase in the coming years as awareness spreads about the UC Transfer Pathways program, which “provides a roadmap of course preparation for the university’s most sought-after transfer majors, as well as the Transfer Admissions Guarantee offered at most campuses.”

The UC Transfer Pathways system is set to increase the number of Californian students within the UC system — especially students who are first-generation and those from underrepresented minorities, according to a UCOP press release.

“Our efforts to streamline the transfer process reflect not only our commitment to the state, but also to high-achieving, hardworking students who otherwise may not have found a home at UC,” said Han Mi Yoon-Wu, the UC system’s interim associate vice president and director of undergraduate admissions, in a press release. 

The UC system also extended more offers of admission to students from underrepresented groups.

In fact, many of this year’s admitted students came from underrepresented groups, with 44 percent of admitted students being first-generation and 40 percent coming from low income backgrounds. 

The number of Chicano/Latino students has increased slightly, while Asian American students “remained the largest ethnic group of admitted students at 35 percent,” according to the press release.

African Americans made up five percent of admitted transfers, according to the press release. Meanwhile, American Indians and Pacific Islanders comprise nearly one percent of the new transfer class.

“I think it’s great. The more people that get in, the more diversity,” said campus junior transfer student Ray Wenzell. “(Diversity is) a great addition to any class for me.”

Contact Maya Akkaraju and Mallika Seshadri at [email protected].