UCSB admitted 17,670 first-year students under a new selection process that reviews a student’s whole profile and performance. The students have until May 1 to decide and UCSB expects about 3,700 to eventually enroll.

More students got in to UCSB this year than last year, part of a UC-wide increase in admittance of 2.5 percent. The average grade point average of admitted students was 3.94 and the average SAT score was 1230.

This is the first freshman class to be admitted under a “comprehensive review” system, which the regents approved in November 2001. Comprehensive review was established in order to ensure that high school applicants are evaluated in several areas of their achievements, rather than basing their admittance solely on GPA and test scores.

UCSB Admissions Director Christine Van Gieson said that the comprehensive review aims to evaluate the student based on the context of the school they came from and the opportunities afforded to them, in addition to looking at their test scores and grades.

“Because students come from diverse backgrounds and different schools they have different opportunities available to them,” she said. “This affects their performance and achievements so we review the full spectrum of information the students present in their applications.”

With Proposition 209 still in effect, gender and race are not a factor in the selection process. However, applicants’ names are visible to the applicant reviewers, Van Gieson said.

“When we review applicants we are not allowed to see the applicants’ ethnicity and gender,” she said.

Even with the implementation of this new process, there is still an eligibility index for all applicants, based only on grades and test scores. Van Gieson said that once the student meets the minimum eligibility requirements, the Board of Admissions uses comprehensive review for selection.

Because there is a larger pool of applicants, more underrepresented minorities are entering the UC system, according to the UC Admissions Report. In the Fall of 1997, before the ending of Affirmative Action with SP-1 and Prop. 209, they comprised 18.8 percent of the admitted UC class. Last year, they comprised 18.6 percent and this year the number increased to 19.1 percent.

According to UC admission reports, 48,369 freshmen were admitted into the UC for Fall 2002, a 4.9 percent increase from 2001, when only 46,130 applicants were admitted. More students applied this year than in 2001, however, so the acceptance rate – the number of students the UC accepts compared to the number of applicants – decreased by0.8percent.

More underrepresented minorities applied for 2002, so more were admitted. But the admittance rate declined because fewer of these students were accepted in proportion to the amount that applied and were accepted in 2001. In California, admittance rate decreased from 2001 for Native Americans by 0.4 percent, for African Americans by 0.6 percent and Chicano/Latinos by 0.3 percent. It increased slightly for in-state Asian Americans by 0.1 percent and by whites 0.6 percent.

The effects of comprehensive review are still under examination as officials are compiling and analyzing data. Van Gieson anticipates additional changes to comprehensive review because the application process is so competitive

“Many of the UC campuses at this point are dealing with a workload of 35,000 applicants,” she said. “We have more students applying than we can accept and I think the comprehensive review evaluates them in the most complete way possible.”