21 percent gain shows strong demand for seats at newest University of California campus
MERCED, CA— A record number of freshman and transfer hopefuls have applied to the University of California, Merced , for the 2010 fall semester, according to figures released today (Jan. 14) by the UC Office of the President.
The newest UC campus has received more than 12,000 applications, 21 percent higher than last year. Freshman applications totaled 10,594, up 17.3 percent from 9,034 in 2009, while transfer applications rose 49.5 percent to 1,772 from 1,185 the prior year. The number of freshman applications alone exceeds the total number of freshman and transfer applications combined for 2009. Since the university opened in the fall of 2005, applications have increased 39 percent.
"We are very pleased with the size, quality and diversity of the applicant pool," said Kevin Browne, assistant vice chancellor of Enrollment Management. "It's compelling evidence that more and more students want the life-transforming UC academic experience in a welcoming, innovative environment that they can personally influence — one that's unique to UC Merced."
The five-county Fresno region had the highest percentage increase in freshman (5.6 percent) and transfer (31.6 percent) applications to the UC system of all regions, demonstrating UC Merced's significant role in expanding access to the UC system for students statewide and increasing college-going rates among students in the San Joaquin Valley. Since the fall of 2004, the year before UC Merced opened, applications to UC campuses from Central Valley residents have increased 51 percent and admissions have risen 47 percent (as of 2009).
More than half of UC Merced's freshman applicants (54.8 percent) come from families that meet the state's definition of low-income family, and 53.2 percent are first-generation college students. Both percentages are the highest for any campus in the UC system.
"If you are accepted to a UC, money shouldn't stand in your way," Browne said. "Financial aid is available and UC's new Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan will cover your systemwide fees if you are a California resident whose family earns less than $70,000 a year."
Those who don't receive an acceptance letter for Fall 2010 should strongly consider applying for Spring 2011, Browne said. Applications for spring are due in July.