UCSB has set a record for the highest number of first-year applicants, up six percent from last year with a total of 81,782 applications.
While nonresident and international applications across the UC system dropped by 2.8 and 0.9 percent respectively, they increased at UCSB with international applications jumping 9.6 percent from last year.
Fifty-five percent of applicants are from a racial or ethnic minority group, with African-American, Chican@ and Latin@ and Native-American applicants making up 30 percent of the applicant pool.
“As the prestige of our campus has grown and as our faculty and alumni receive global recognition, we are being discovered by more and more students outside of California,” Lisa Przekop, the director of admissions at UCSB, said.
A statement released by the UC Office of the President said the number of California applicants who come from low-income families increased by 2.7 percent to 42.4 percent, and the number of first-generation college applicants increased to 46.7 percent, up 0.6 percent from 2016.
“The increase of freshman applicants from low-income backgrounds is not a problem, but rather a positive development for UC,” Ricardo Vázquez, the UC director of media relations, said. “The UC system leads the nation’s top universities in economic diversity and we look forward to continue providing opportunities for more Californians regardless of income.”
In a conference call with UC journalists on Jan. 6, UC President Janet Napolitano said campuses will accommodate students by adding 14,000 more beds by 2020 and creating additional resources for graduate students.
“I know the campuses are cramming at the seams with the student growth and have fired a lot of faculty over the last year,” Napolitano said. “We asked for additional state funding for grad students last year. We didn’t get it. Nonetheless, we’re able to provide some more resources to the campuses for grad students, but that’s another thing we’ll be advocating for this year.”
Michael Miller, UCSB director of financial aid and scholarships, said he believes financial aid will not be affected.
“Each UC campus has its own enrollment priorities and strategies, so even though system-wide applications may indicate certain trends, that don’t necessarily reflect what our incoming class will look like,” Miller said. “I will say we are thrilled to see more low-income students applying to the UC.”
A release from the Office of Public Affairs and Communications shows stronger academics; 45 percent of freshman applicants have a high school grade point average of 4.0 or higher, with the average increasing to 3.86 from 3.84 last year.
Chancellor Henry T. Yang also said that UCSB is “unwavering” in its commitment toward accessible and affordable education for all UC students.
“When I talk with prospective students and their families, I hear about how students want to come here to learn from and do research with faculty who are the forefront of their fields, and to be part of a vibrant intellectual community with their peers,” Yang said in an email. “We are very pleased that our campus has attracted such a highly qualified and diverse applicant pool for Fall 2017.”
A version of this story appeared on p. 3 of the Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017 edition of the Daily Nexus.