More students are currently enrolled at UC Santa Barbara than any prior winter quarter, a record that follows fall quarter’s all-time high enrollment numbers.

Winter quarters typically see a decline of several hundred students from the start of the academic year, as was the case this year with enrollment decreasing by a net 785 students, bringing the total number of students at the university to 25,636.

Mark Alfred / Daily Nexus

The recent record highs in student enrollment followed allegations of over-enrollment made by both Santa Barbara County and the City of Goleta, both of whom are pursuing litigation against the university.

The pair made independent claims that the university violated the 2010 Long Range Development Plan, which stipulates the number of on-campus students cannot exceed 25,000, calculated using a three-quarter average. The two sets of enrollment data utilized by the Nexus — the enrollment dashboard and the third-week registration report — include on-campus and off-campus enrollment data.

Mark Alfred / Daily Nexus

The total number of students enrolled at UCSB increased slightly over the past five years but has remained largely stagnant as the university works to keep its on-campus totals under the 25,000 three-quarter average limit.

Undergraduate student enrollment declined by 857 students between fall and winter quarter, while the number of graduate students increased by 72.

There are 3,033 graduate students currently enrolled at UCSB — tying this quarter with Fall Quarter 2021 for the largest number of graduate students at the university.

Of current undergraduates, 17,886 were admitted as first-years and 4,716 transferred to UCSB. The majority of undergrads — 12,461 — are a part of minority communities, while 10,142 are not, according to the data.

Mark Alfred / Daily Nexus

Mark Alfred / Daily Nexus

Two-thirds of undergraduates have completed the units required to be classified as upper division, while one-third are lower-division students. According to the enrollment dashboard, 31.8% of undergraduates are first generation students — less than what the university lists on its first-generation community website.

Mark Alfred / Daily Nexus

Mark Alfred / Daily Nexus

Most graduate students are international or out of state students. UCSB currently enrolls 3,702 international students, a net decrease of 123 since fall quarter. In that time, the university saw increases and decreases in the number of international students from country to country.

The number of international students from green highlighted countries increased from fall to winter, whereas the countries highlighted in red saw a decrease in that time. Countries highlighted in yellow saw no quarter-to-quarter change, and data countries with fewer than seven international students are not displayed. Mark Alfred / Daily Nexus.

The number of international students from China dropped from 2,531 to 2,393, whereas the number of students from Canada increased by four. UCSB enrolls international students from over 110 countries.

A version of this article appeared on p. 3 of the Feb. 9, 2023, print edition of the Daily Nexus.


Mark Alfred
Mark Alfred (he/him) was the University News Editor for the 2022-23 school year.