More than 1,800 new students plan to enroll, a 6 percent increase from last year
MERCED, Calif. — Next fall's freshman class at the University of California, Merced, will be the largest ever at the newest UC campus — up 6 percent from the fall of 2010, based on data released today by the university's Office of Admissions.
The campus said it has received a Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) from 1,829 freshmen admitted for Fall 2011 classes. That compares with 1,725 SIRs at this time last year.
While the actual number of new students will not be known exactly until fall registration is completed, the surge in freshman enrollees is expected to push UC Merced's total enrollment past the 5,000-student mark for the first time.
"This is an exciting time for UC Merced as we welcome the Class of 2015 and surpass the 5,000 enrollment mark," said Jane Lawrence, vice chancellor for student affairs. "Both the academic qualifications and the diversity of the class of applicants accepted by UC Merced are at record high levels."
Kevin Browne, assistant vice chancellor for enrollment management, said the positive growth in SIRs demonstrates rapidly rising student awareness and preference for the young campus, which opened in 2005 with just 875 students.
"The numbers speak to the campus' increasing popularity with students," Browne said. "This is a clear sign that students and their families recognize the quality and value of the educational experience offered at UC Merced."
Browne said the record number of SIRs represents approximately 14.8 percent of the 12,395 freshman applicants who were admitted this year. That's up sharply from last year's 8.4 percent, though the number of students admitted decreased from 20,515 because of a change in the way the UC handles its referral pool.
Because of the UC's commitment to admitting all eligible students, those not admitted to the campuses they applied to are referred to UC Merced. While the campus previously would admit all of those students, it used an opt-in system this year in which it would only admit those who expressed interest in attending UC Merced.
"Our intent and commitment remained the same, but we changed how we processed our referral pool applications," Browne said. "We focused our efforts on students who actually stated an interest in coming to UC Merced, which made the process more efficient and effective."
In addition to freshman admissions, UC Merced also admitted 1,483 transfer students from community colleges throughout California, of which 236 (or nearly 16 percent) intend to enroll.
The SIR is an interim step in the overall application, admission and enrollment cycle. Final enrollment figures for the fall term typically are available in late October.
*NOTE: Data included is preliminary and subject to change.
Brenda Ortiz