In January, UC Santa Barbara released its yearly campus profile, a report that provides specific details about the school’s population, demographics, financial aid and student residence, which revealed a continuing trend — a slow rise in the student population. 

In order to accommodate the rising number of students, the UC has undertaken various housing projects, such as the construction of the San Joaquin student apartments and of a new classroom building slated to open spring 2023, said Andrea Estrada, a UCSB spokesperson.

“We have hired additional faculty; provided more resources for TAs; hired additional staff; expanded Summer Sessions curriculum; built and planned (and are planning) new housing for students, faculty and staff; renovated and expanded classrooms,” Estrada said in a statement.

In the campus profile, UCSB received a slight increase in freshman applicants. However the UC-wide number of applicants decreased, according to University of California Office of the President (UCOP) data.

Across the UC system, the number of freshman applicants decreased by 2.5% from the last school year, but transfer student applications increased by 4.7%, according to a UCOP Fact Sheet.

“Cost of college attendance is a major concern to students and more and more students are opting to attend local community colleges where they can take advantage of “Promise” programs that cover the cost of tuition and books,” UCSB Admissions Director Lisa Przekop said a statement provided by Estrada.

The “Promise” program, formally known as the California Promise Grant, offers full-time students tuition-free community college for a maximum of two years. Stett Holbrook also cited the Promise Grant as a possible reason for lower application rates. While the total number of students on campus rose — a consistent trend across all UCs — UCSB, along with UC Santa Cruz, UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley, enrolled a smaller number of in-state students.

“The number of incoming students, both in- and out-of-state, fluctuates every year. Like every other university in the system, we do our best to estimate how many will accept our invitation to enroll,” Estrada said.

“For the 2019-20 academic year, the number of in- and out-of-state students who chose to enroll at UC Santa Barbara was slightly different from what we anticipated,” Estrada added.

The number of in-state students at UCSB has been gradually decreasing since 2009, resulting in California residents making up 79.2% of the student body for the 2019-20 school year as opposed to 93.2% of the student body in 2009.

However, the UC as a whole increased its number of in-state students, according to its fall enrollment data.

The campus profile also contained estimated yearly costs for students. Room and board estimates for this school year dipped slightly from $15,273 to $15,111 due to the estimates being based on UCSB-owned housing costs rather than the commercial rental market.

The total amount for student financial aid in 2019-20 was $448,450,248, averaging out to $23,336 per student, a slight increase from the last school year. For undergraduates, 65% of their aid came from grants, while 89% of graduate student aid came from fellowships.

73% of students at UCSB this year received some form of financial aid through the university, but 97% of graduate students received aid compared to 70% of undergraduates.

As in previous years, physical and biological sciences was the largest major discipline, encompassing 46% of all undergraduates and 35% of all graduate students. Social and cultural studies contained 33% of all undergraduates; languages, humanities and arts had 13%; interdisciplinary/unknown undergraduates had 8% and engineering/computer science had 7%.

For graduate students, engineering/computer science was the second most popular field with 26%, followed by languages, humanities and arts with 16%, social and cultural studies with 13%, education with 8% and interdisciplinary/unknown with 3%.

38% of UCSB students live in university-owned housing and 34% live in Isla Vista, with the rest of the student population living in Santa Barbara, Goleta or other locations. This data falls in line with last year’s profile, as more students live in university-owned housing than I.V.

Student ethnic demographics remained consistent with previous years, with white students composing 38% of the campus, Chicano/Latino students at 28%, Asian/Pacific Islander students at 27%, Black students at 5% and Native American/Alaskan students at 1%. The remaining 2% of students either did not specify or declined to state their ethnicities.