UCSB admitted a record 16,450 high school students out of 34,000 applicants for Fall Quarter 2001, and plans to enroll 3,700 of those students.

Acceptance letters were mailed March 20, and statements of intent to register, along with deposits, are due May 1.

UCSB accepted more students from all ethnic groups this year, and school officials said they hope that will translate into more minority students attending the school.

“We anticipate this class to be the most academically prepared that we’ve experienced and also the most diverse,” said Special Admissions Assistant to the Chancellor Bill Villa, who for years served as UCSB’s admissions director. “That’s particularly noteworthy in light of the fact that we’ve admitted more students than last year, and the academic quality is slightly better than last year. Now the goal is to actually enroll them, then we’ll see how we’ve done.”

Faculty and staff are working to recruit those admitted students. Although Spring Insight tours begin on April 16, large numbers of prospective freshmen are currently exploring the campus. Chancellor Henry Yang, who has been recruiting for the last month, will conclude a series of conferences across the state April 7 with a reception in Los Angeles.

“Feedback regarding the receptions has been excellent. Students and their families are impressed with the faculty, staff and student representatives and their presentations,” Yang said. “I have also received positive feedback on the information provided on our academic programs by each college and other issues of interest to prospective students, such as financial aid and housing. Needless to say, they are impressed by UCSB’s outstanding academic stature and campus environment.”

After the receptions conclude, UCSB’s faculty will have a phone-a-thon to encourage students to come to the campus, and the Education Opportunity Program will hold a Parents Conference on April 14 for prospective parents.

All the recruiting efforts are intended to draw the most academically excellent and diverse class to Santa Barbara, Yang said.

“Through the faculty phone-a-thon, the April 7 reception in Los Angeles and the EOP Parents Conference, we encourage underrepresented minorities to give serious consideration to enrolling at UCSB,” Yang said. “We are striving to enroll the most academically qualified and diverse student body possible.”

The admitted students have been admitted to several other schools, Villa said. Although close to two-thirds stay within the UC system, the Admissions Office must estimate how many students will come here before coming up with the total number to admit.

Last year, expecting the university’s increasing prestige to draw a higher number of freshmen from the applicant pool, fewer students were admitted than in previous years. The plan resulted in a much smaller freshmen class than admissions officers had planned, and led them to increase the number of acceptances from 14,000 to 16,000 this year.

“It’s not an exact science, but we hope we’re pretty close to it,” Villa said.