After receiving a total of 36,651 applications, UCSB offered 19,325 high school students admittance in the Fall 2004 freshman class, up from 17,275 last year, the university announced Monday.

An additional 8,256 transfer student applications are currently being reviewed by the university. Transfer applications will be completed and decisions announced in early May.

Applicants accepted for the Fall 2004 freshman class had an average total SAT I score of 1248, up nine points over last year’s admitted freshman class. The average high school GPA this year was 3.98, up from 3.94 from last year. Among the applicants, 10,921 had a GPA of 4.0 or higher.

Forty-four percent of all applicants and 19.9 percent of California applicants admitted to UCSB identified themselves as members of a racial or ethnic minority group. According to UC policy, the race or ethnicity of applicants is not disclosed to the campuses by the UC system until after admissions decisions have been made.

UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang said in a statement that the determined efforts of faculty, staff, students and alumni contributed to the campus’s success in attracting such a qualified and diverse applicant pool.

“We are extremely pleased by the excellent and diverse class of applicants that we have admitted. Right now my colleagues and I are deeply involved in a concerted effort to ensure that the class that we enroll in the fall will be our strongest ever, both in academic quality and diversity,” Yang said. “I am appreciative of the efforts of so many people and departments on our campus in helping to attract such exceptional students in UCSB.”

UCSB’s acceptance letters were mailed in March; applicants were also able to learn if they were accepted by visiting a protected UC website. Applicants accepted to UC campuses have until May 1 to submit a Statement of Intent to Register. UCSB expects a Fall 2004 entering class of approximately 3,950 students.

Christine Van Gieson, UCSB’s director of admissions and outreach, said she was struck by the accomplishments of the Fall 2004 admitted freshman class.

“Our admitted fall class has very impressive credentials,” Van Gieson said. “The average student has taken 45 academic courses – that’s 15 more than the minimum required – and has been involved in an array of leadership and volunteer activities.”

This year’s “Spring Insight,” an open house for admitted students and their families, drew an estimated 4,000 people to UCSB on April 5. According to a UCSB press release, record numbers of visitors took part in weekday and Saturday tours of UCSB during the first two weeks in April.

A total of 49,923 freshmen were admitted to the UC system. Due to the statewide budget cuts, that number is down from the 50,291 admitted in fall of last year. A total of 7,600 students received the Guaranteed Transfer Option systemwide. Of those accepted, 2,661 freshmen were offered winter or spring admission.

This year, budget reductions have prevented the University of California from honoring its commitment to provide a place within the UC system for all UC-eligible California applicants. Instead, the UC has begun a Guaranteed Transfer Option program for students not accepted as freshmen; students are offered guaranteed admission if they successfully complete two years of course work at a California community college. UCSB is offering this option to 1,750 students who were not accepted.