UCLA has purchased two new sites in Rancho Palos Verdes and San Pedro in an effort to address campus crowding and increasing student demand.

The two sites belonged to Marymount California University, a private Catholic college that shuttered in August 2022. MCU cited declining enrollment and rising costs as the reasons for closing.

The $80 million purchase marks the largest land acquisition in UCLA history. Officials say the sites can accommodate around 1,000 students and potentially house at least half of those students.

The MCU site includes a 24.5-acre main campus in Rancho Palos Verdes and an 11-acre residential site in San Pedro.

“As demand for our academic offerings continues to grow, this acquisition will allow us to expand student access in line with UC’s 2030 goals, strengthen our connections to the greater L.A. region, and deepen our institution’s research and public service impact,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block.

Interest in UCLA remains at an all-time high, with 2022 marking another year where the university remained the most applied-to four-year university in the nation.

The Fall 2022 semester saw around 149,700 freshman applications, a 10% rise from the previous year. The university has been eyeing plans to expand with satellite campuses, furthering its goal of adding an additional 20,000 enrollment spots by 2030.

Block says the new satellite campus could start hosting students as early as next year, but an official date has not been announced.

UCLA owns multiple properties throughout Southern California including extension learning centers and over 250 patient care facilities.

“We are grateful to have been chosen as stewards of this site and to extend the tradition of teaching and learning there,” Block said. “We are thinking deeply about how the site can best increase access to education for our students and enhance the broader community, and we’re looking forward to sharing more in the future.”

Future goals for the university include increasing summer course enrollment and expanding remote learning opportunities to expedite graduation rates.