The number of applicants for next fall’s UCSB freshman class decreased by 657 from last year to 36,651, the first decline in freshman applications in 10 years.

The total number of applications, however, set a record at 45,045. That figure includes transfer students and applicants to the new Dual Admissions Program, under which students complete two years at a California community college before enrolling at a UC campus. One hundred and thirty-eight students applied to DAP.

The decline in freshman applicants mirrored a systemwide trend as six other UC campuses experienced a decline and the total number of freshman applicants dropped by 4.1 percent. Only UC Santa Cruz saw an increase in freshman applications.

A University release said UC officials believe the decrease in freshman applications could be partly attributed to recent fee increases. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 2004-05 budget proposal calls for in-state undergraduate fees to rise by 10 percent, from $4,984 per year to $5,482, and for out-of-state undergraduate fees to increase by 20 percent, from $13,730 to $16,476.

Out-of-state freshman applications to UCSB dropped by 12.4 percent, from 2,721 to 2,383. Systemwide, out-of-state freshman applications decreased by 9.4 percent from last year.

UCSB has a target enrollment of 3,950 first-year students and 1,400 transfer students. Freshman admissions decisions will be completed in March and transfer decisions in April.

The average high school GPA of freshman applicants set a new record at 3.7, with 10,893 applicants boasting a high school GPA above 4.0. The average SAT I score for freshman applicants increased by 12 points from last year to 1176.