Number of Freshmen Who Choose UC Merced Climbs

Student Statements of Intent to Register for Fall 2009 Increase by 27% Over Fall 2008

MERCED - Officials at the University of California, Merced, have begun their summer on a confident note. The campus is getting more and more popular with incoming freshmen. UC Merced has seen a 27-percent increase in freshmen selecting to attend over Fall 2008, and a 94-percent increase over Fall 2007.

According to data released today, June 16, by the UC Office of the President, Merced has received 1,358 Statements of Intent to Register (SIRs) from first-time freshmen. UC Merced received 1,069 freshman SIRs at this time last year. SIRs are generally a reliable indicator of the number of students who plan to enroll in any given year.

Kevin Browne, assistant vice chancellor for enrollment management, predicts that these numbers put the university on track for a total Fall 2009 enrollment of 3,200 students.

"This is the third banner year in a row for UC Merced," Browne said. "This proves that even in these uncertain fiscal times, families recognize the benefits of a UC Merced education and value the experience we offer our students."

It's clear that 2009 has been an exciting year for UC Merced. In April, the campus received word its federal permit for expansion was approved, allowing officials to move forward with plans to develop the campus beyond its current 104 acres to the full 815 acres shown in its Long-Range Development Plan. In May, First Lady Michelle Obama addressed the Class of 2009 as the Commencement keynote speaker.

"Having the First Lady of the United States acknowledge the work and accomplishments of our inaugural class gives greater visibility to what our students, staff and faculty already know," Chancellor Steve Kang said. "UC Merced is the home of big thinkers who achieve what others only dream about."

Just as UC Merced's inaugural class began the creation of the campus' student government, club sports programs, student organizations and culture of environmental awareness, incoming freshmen (UC Merced's Class of 2013) will have the task of carrying the torch.

Academic programs continue to develop as funding allows. Sociology has been approved as a new major for fall, and the university is planning a school of management and a school of medicine.

"The increase in freshmen interest in our campus shows that students and their parents see UC Merced as a campus that provides an intimate setting with a range of outstanding academic opportunities," Browne said, listing the campus culture of welcoming students to actively participate in research with high-achieving faculty as one of UC Merced's most popular drawing cards.

To view UC systemwide SIR data, visit

Tonya Luiz
Office of Communications

Media Contact