Though the number of UCSB applicants reached a record high this year, the total student body remains capped at a constant 20,000.

As of the Nov. 30, 2006 University of California application deadline, UCSB received a total of 48,728 applications for Fall 2007 from prospective first-year and transfer students, according to a UCSB press release. Director of Admissions Christine Van Gieson said the university can accommodate between 4,150 and 4,200 students, though it will send out acceptance letters to about half of its applicant pool.

UCSB’s application numbers increased 2.7 percent from last year’s applicant pool of 47,893, placing it fourth behind UCLA, UC San Diego and UC Berkeley.

According to the press release, of the total applicants, 40,894 are from prospective first-year students and 7,834 are from transfer students. While UCSB received 1,066 more first-year applications than last year, transfer applications decreased by 231.

Van Gieson said the UC system experienced an overall increase in application numbers.

“The entire UC system received more applications this year,” Van Gieson said. “This accounts for some of the increase.”

The press release said 307 of the prospective first-year students are from the top 4 percent of their high school classes with a GPA of 4.0 or higher. Last year, the average GPA for UCSB applicants was 3.71. SAT results for this year’s prospective students went up six points from last year, making the average score 1756 out of 2400.

As stated in the press release, the demographics of this year’s application pool include a 3 percent increase in under-represented minority groups, which turned in 22.2 percent of the total number applications. In addition, California residents make up 92 percent of applicants.

Van Gieson said that, although the number of applications is larger than last year, the student population will remain at 20,000 due to UCSB’s agreement with the California Coastal Commission and the Santa Barbara community.

Every 10 years, UCSB administrators draft a plan called a Long-Range Development Plan, which encompasses any changes that will be made to campus buildings, housing and enrollment. The current LRDP, approved by the CCC and the UC Regents over 10 years ago, sets UCSB’s enrollment at 20,000.

“We are duty-bound to the enrollment cap of 20,000,” Van Gieson said.

Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs Paul Desruisseaux said the Santa Barbara population increases approximately 1 percent every year. He said that in order for the student population of UCSB to grow, the CCC would have to agree to make accommodations during the next LRDP approval process.

“UCSB would mirror that 1 percent increase; thus in 10 years perhaps 5,000 more students would be added,” Desruisseaux said.

Despite the increase in applicants, Van Gieson said Housing and Residential Services should be able to accommodate the anticipated 4,150 prospective students.

“[We can accommodate] between 4,150 and 4,200 students,” Van Gieson said. “Potential housing for returning students may be less.”