Acceptance of Californians Into UC System at Record Low; Offers to Foreign Students Rise

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A student walks near Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA on Monday, April 23, 2012. (Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

With the number of UC applicants at a new high, California residents faced tougher odds of gaining acceptance into next fall’s freshman classes. A record number of students from other countries and states, meanwhile, received offers of admission.

About 60% of the 103,117 California applicants were offered a spot on at least one of UC’s nine undergraduate campuses, according to university figures released Thursday. That appears to be a record low acceptance rate, down from about 63% of the 99,955 applicants last year, and about 79% in 1999, the oldest available systemwide figures.

However, Stephen Handel, UC associate vice president for undergraduate admissions, said that interest is so strong in the public university system that he expects the ranks of California freshmen will remain about the same as in this past school year, even though the 61,834 Californians accepted to UC were about 1,000 fewer than last year. Their ethnic composition continues to shift from whites to more Asians and Latinos.

The UC system seems to be maintaining the promise of President Janet Napolitano that the numbers of students from other states and countries would not increase further at UC Berkeley and UCLA. The rapid rise in recent years in those students at the two highly selective campuses — to about 30% of the freshmen class — triggered much controversy among legislators and families.

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