This Fall Quarter’s 4,700 incoming freshmen will be part of the most diverse class UCSB has ever seen.
According to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, 49 percent of the incoming class identified themselves with minority groups. Of those individuals, a full 30 percent said they were underrepresented minorities including African American, American Indians, Chicanos and Latinos.
The UCSB class of 2012 is also one of the largest groups of incoming freshmen the university has ever seen — a total of 4,725 students said they will attend classes this Fall Quarter.
Chancellor Henry T. Yang said he was thrilled by both the academic potential and demographic makeup of the incoming students.
“All of us here at UC Santa Barbara have been working diligently together to increase both the quality and diversity of our academic programs and student body,” Yang said. “We are delighted that our efforts continue to bear fruit, including our success this year in attracting our largest and strongest applicant pool ever. We look forward to welcoming a truly outstanding freshman class this fall.”
Betty Hoff, assistant to the director of admissions at UCSB, said the new campus demographics are the product of a strenuous effort from the admissions department.
“First, our early academic outreach programs have created a more prepared and higher quality group of first generation minority college students,” Hoff said. “Second, we just had a larger number of minority applicants because I think our campus worked extremely hard to prepare and welcome those students. I think we have gotten the word out and become a campus of choice for all ethnicities.”
Although 4,700 students have pledged to attend this Fall Quarter, Hoff said that the number of individuals that will actually show up on day one is much lower.
“We expect somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,500 to 4,400,” Hoff said. “What happens between is students drop off in two ways: They are either on a waiting list for another university of their first choice and get accepted or some do not continue to meet admission requirements.”
Still, Hoff said the number of incoming students is 200 higher than anticipated and will affect several facets of the campus.
“There will be a definite impact but we have all summer to adjust so the impact is felt by the campus and not the students,” Hoff said. “Every campus is experiencing the same problems, we just had an unbelievable number of applicants.”
Director of Residential Life Charlene Chew-Ogi said the bulging number of freshmen will strain on-campus housing services, and many students will be tripling up for their first year at UCSB.
“It’s a big class so we will have triples — we will try to fill these up with as many people who requested triples as possible, but then some people who didn’t want them will end up in them,” Chew-Ogi said. “We will have a ballpark of 200 triple rooms so around 600 students will end up in triples.”