UC Merced Reports Record Numbers of Applications and Admission Offers for Fall 2007 Freshman Class

MERCED, CA - The University of California, Merced announced it has extended offers to 6,676 highly qualified students for admission to its freshman class in the fall of 2007, according to preliminary data released today (March 30, 2007) by the campus. The admission total, representing nearly 81 percent of the record 8,257 students who applied, is the highest in the three-year history of the newest UC campus, which has a current enrollment of 1,286 students. [*NOTE: Data included is preliminary and subject to change as the campus is still completing freshman offers. Information about geographic, ethnic and other categories will be made available on April 5 in conjunction with the release of systemwide freshman admissions data.]

"We are extremely pleased to offer another outstanding group of scholars a chance to attend the newest and most welcoming campus in the UC family," said UC Merced Chancellor Steve Kang, who assumed his position March 1. "I want to encourage all of these impressive young men and women to visit our rapidly growing campus and see for themselves how a UC-quality education in a small, personal setting can change their lives forever."

Freshmen students have until May 1 to review their offers of admission and file an official Statement of Intent to Register (SIR). Final registration numbers will depend on how many students successfully complete the enrollment process and arrive on campus in the fall. Freshman enrollment averaged about 550 students in the university's first two years of operation, which is in alignment with the average growth in student enrollments for UC San Diego, UC Santa Cruz and UC Irvine during their first five years of existence.

Focused on Fall 2007
Encarnación Ruiz, UC Merced director of undergraduate admissions, said the university has been preparing diligently for solid growth in the size of the 2007 freshman class since the fall of 2006.

"The record number of applications and admission offers are reflective of a greater interest in the campus as a whole," he said. "There are a number of factors contributing to a vastly improved college atmosphere at our campus: more academic majors, an increase in the number of faculty, guaranteed on-campus housing for freshmen, the launch of our first competitive sports programs, and the recently opened health and recreation center."

Shared Experience Program
UC Merced will participate in a special UC program designed to admit academically qualified students who meet UC admissions requirements but cannot be accommodated by one or more other UC campuses to which they applied. The Shared Experience Program will allow such talented students to enroll at UC Merced through the end of their sophomore year and then transfer to their original campus of choice, if they wish, provided they meet the program's academic requirements.

"Based on our retention rate of more than 80 percent, I am confident that a substantial number of students participating in the program will choose to remain here," said Chancellor Kang. "Now that we are able to offer more majors and minors, guaranteed housing for all freshmen, campus sports and more facilities, I'm sure an increasing number of these outstanding students will want to be part of UC Merced's campus community. Of course, they will have the option of returning to the offering campus if they wish, but they will be encouraged to continue their education at UC Merced."

This year, four UC campuses - Berkeley, San Diego, Los Angeles and Irvine - are expected to make a total of just over 1,000 Shared Experience offers to exceptional students they cannot accommodate. The program will help balance growth across the UC system during a period of record demand - systemwide applications were a record 110,994 this year - while increasing the total number of students who have access to the system. It is patterned after a program used for a few years in the 1980s and is expected to run for two to four years.

"This innovative program accomplishes one of the University of California's goals, which is to increase access to the University for qualified students from throughout the state," said Sue Wilbur, director of undergraduate admissions at the UC Office of the President. "It's a win-win situation. Participating students will have the opportunity to study at an engaging campus that affords undergraduate access to world-class faculty, phenomenal undergraduate research opportunities and a collegial university experience that can only be found at a small, close-knit campus."

Next Steps in Enrollment Process
To take the next step toward enrolling at UC Merced in the fall, admitted freshmen must submit the Statement of Intent to Register (SIR). Freshman SIRs are expected by May 1 and Ruiz encourages students to submit the SIR as soon as possible to get their housing, financial aid, orientation and other important matters in order. Freshmen students who file the SIR after May 1 will be considered on a space-available basis.

Admitted students are encouraged to take advantage of admit events hosted by the Office of Admissions including Bobcat Day on April 14, a day filled with activities and informational sessions for prospective students and their families.

Transfer applications are currently under review, and transfer students will receive notification of admissions decisions by the end of April. Transfer students are expected to submit their SIRs by June 1 and are invited to attend Transfer Day, a special admit event presented by the Office of Admissions on May 5.

For more information about the admit events or to arrange campus tours, which are available every Monday through Saturday, students are encouraged to call (209) 381-7880 or (866) 270-7301 toll free in California.

Graduate Admissions

The Fall 2007 graduate admissions process is ongoing, with more than 245 applications already received for master's and Ph.D. programs and many offers of admission already extended. Students who are still interested in applying to the UC Merced Graduate Division are encouraged to contact the division at (209) 228-4429.

UC Merced opened September 5, 2005 as the 10th campus in the University of California system and the first American research university of the 21st century. The campus significantly expands access to the UC system for students throughout the state, with a special mission to increase college-going rates among students in the San Joaquin Valley. It also serves as a major base of advanced research and as a stimulus to economic growth and diversification throughout the region. Situated near Yosemite National Park, the university is expected to grow rapidly, topping out at approximately 25,000 students within 30 years.


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