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UC Merced Prepares to Welcome First Students on Campus

May 18, 2005


Central Valley Students Represent Almost 30 Percent of
Developing Freshman Class

MERCED, CA. — After 17 years of planning and development, UC
Merced is making its final preparations to welcome freshman,
transfer and graduate students on campus in just over three months.

A total of 974 students have already submitted their Statement
of Intent to Register (SIR) for UC Merced’s inaugural year, which
officially begins on Sept. 6. In recent weeks, 867 students have
submitted their freshman SIRs. In addition, 73 students have
expressed their intent to register as transfer students and 34
students have been admitted for graduate study. Students interested
in transfer admission have until June 1 to submit their SIR.

For students who have received offers of freshman and transfer
admission to UC Merced, submitting an SIR is taking the next step
in the undergraduate admissions process. The SIR reserves space for
students who wish to attend UC Merced and confirms their intent to
enroll for Fall 2005.

The following characteristics of students who have already
submitted the SIR provide a preliminary glimpse of UC Merced’s
inaugural freshman class:

- 47 percent identify themselves as first-generation college
students.

- 23 percent self-identify as first-generation college
students who also come from families earning less than $30,000
annually.

- 32 percent self-report as coming from underrepresented
ethnic or racial groups (e.g. African Americans, American Indians
and Latinos).

- 68 percent applied for and are receiving offers of
financial aid and 52 percent qualify for need-based financial assistance.

As campus admissions officials had projected, a significant
number of students from the Central Valley are signing up to come
to the new campus this fall. Approximately 250 students from the
region — ranging from Placer County in the north to Kern
County in the south — have already said “yes” to UC Merced.

“We are thrilled that so many top students from our home region
in the Central Valley and throughout the state are choosing UC
Merced as the place to pursue their university education,” says
Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey. “Their interest underlines the
need for this new UC campus, as does the growing number of
UC-eligible students in the state. We also are pleased that UC
Merced campus is helping expand access to UC for students from a
broad cross-section of California’s communities and populations,
including many students who will be the first in their families to
attend college.”

“We’re excited that right now it looks like Central Valley
students will represent almost 30 percent of our actual freshman
population this fall,” says Director of Admissions Encarnación
Ruíz. “This is very rewarding given our mission to help create
a college-going culture in this region. Of course, we look forward
to welcoming students from all over the state, each bringing his or
her unique talents and perspectives to the campus.”

Following in line with applications and admits, the largest
numbers of freshman SIRs are coming from California’s major
population centers, including Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay
Area. Currently, about 180 students from L.A. and 260 students from
the Bay Area have indicated they plan to attend UC Merced.

All incoming freshmen are expected to attend one of four
Orientation sessions scheduled on July 9 in Bakersfield, July 23 in
Fresno, Aug. 6 in Atwater and Aug. 20 in Merced. At the sessions,
students will be able to meet with academic advisers, register for
fall classes, take placement exams, and learn more about academics,
student services and campus life at UC Merced. Transfer students
also are encouraged to attend the sessions. A separate Orientation
program will be presented to graduate students in September.

All UC Merced students and their parents also are invited to
attend a formal convocation ceremony, scheduled for Sept. 5 on
campus. Marking the official start of the academic year, the first
day of classes is set for Sept. 6.