After an “unprecedented” admissions cycle, UC Berkeley will be welcoming its incoming class of students for fall 2022.
The 2022-23 admissions process was initially threatened by a court ruling that reaffirmed a cap on enrollment. Incoming campus freshman Madison Lindke said she remembers crying when she received the email that enrollment would have been reduced if the ruling was implemented.
“Getting in was very surreal. It felt like I was going to be getting an email a week later like ‘sorry, sent out the wrong email’ or something,” Lindke said. “It was surreal but it kind of showed me that all the work I had put in was worth it.”
According to a campus press release, admissions for fall 2022 saw a decline in campus’s acceptance rates by 3%. However, campus increased outreach toward in-state applicants and offered more financial aid packages. According to campus spokesperson Janet Gilmore, this was a planned change.
“So many more than expected new and continuing students enrolled for 2021-22,” Gilmore said in an email. “We planned to enroll fewer new freshmen this year to help balance things out.”
There was a decline in the headcount of admissions for all ethnic groups in the admitted class, according to Gilmore. She said this trend was due to the overall decrease in enrollment.
Incoming campus freshman Marisol Suarez said the competitiveness of admissions especially impacts out-of-state residents. Suarez — who lives in Mexico but attended high school in California — said she understands the prioritization of in-state applicants, but feels the pressure on non-California residents is unfair.
“Because Berkeley is such a good school, it puts a lot of pressure on international students and out-of-state students to be perfect in every single aspect while I can be a little bit more lax and rely on the fact that I’m a California resident,” Suarez said.
According to university admissions data, campus admitted 10,518 in-state, 2,805 out-of-state and 1,280 international students for the class of 2026. For transfer students, 4,559 were from California, 44 students were out-of-state residents and 597 were international.
The press release noted an increase in outreach events in California, which Gilmore said she hopes encouraged more in-state students to apply or accept their offer of admission.
Incoming campus freshman Lucía Umeki-Martínez stated that they wish there was greater representation for students who are Black, Latine and Indigenous.
Lindke added that despite a diverse class, the percentage of Black students at campus should be higher considering the diversity of areas surrounding campus.
“It’s definitely more diverse than some of the schools I looked at, but it’s not by far winning any awards for it,” Lindke said.
For the first time in five years, campus was able to offer more generous financial aid that lowered the expected work and loan contribution, according to Cruz Grimaldo, the assistant vice chancellor and director of financial aid and scholarships.
Still, some students claimed to find attendance prices high and unreasonable. Umeki-Martínez, who received multiple scholarships, noted that each additional scholarship detracted from their campus scholarship.
Similarly, Lindke said she and her parents are taking out nearly $30,000 in loans after receiving a partial scholarship.
“I want to go to Cal, I know it is the school for me, but at the same time it was just such a hard decision to make money-wise,” Lindke said. “That honestly would have been the one thing that would have deterred me if I hadn’t had support.”