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UC Campuses Report Record Low Admission Rates

SAN FRANCISCO — Admission to the University of California was more competitive than ever this year as a record number of applicants competed for undergraduate slots, according to data released last week.

About 71.6 percent of California freshman applicants were offered admission for fall 2010, compared with 72.5 percent in 2009 and 75.4 percent in 2008, according to UC.

This year was “the most competitive year for freshman admission in our history,” said Susan Wilbur, UC’s director of undergraduate admissions. “The competition for spaces this year was incredible, and many students and parents were disappointed by the outcome of this year’s process.”

All undergraduate campuses, except Merced and Riverside, reported their lowest admission rates ever, UC officials said.

UCLA was the most selective of UC’s nine undergraduate campus, admitting only 21 percent of freshman applicants. UC Berkeley admitted 24.5 percent of applicants, including students that got offers to start college in spring 2011.

For the first time, UC placed about 10,700 applicants on waiting lists for campuses to which they applied.

Students must decide whether to accept admission offers by May 1. After that, campuses will determine whether they have space for waitlisted students.

UC offered admission to 68,329 applicants for fall 2010 2,064 more than last year but offers to out-of-state and international students accounted for most of that increase.

The proportion of nonresident students who got admission offers increased to 14 percent, up from 12 percent last year.

Admission offers to nonresident applicants jumped most dramatically at UC Berkeley, where out-of-state and international students received about 27 percent of freshman admission offers, up from 14 percent last year.

Meanwhile, UC reduced enrollment of California resident freshman by 1,500 students, following a reduction of 2,300 students last year, because the state has slashed funding to the 10-campus system. The system has about 15,000 undergraduates for which it does not receive state funding, officials said.

Nonresident students pay about three times the tuition paid by California residents, whose education is subsidized by the state.

“Our campuses really had no choice but to reduce enrollment of California resident students commensurate with their funding,” Wilbur said. “As a public university with a strong commitment to California, it’s difficult even painful to turn away so many high achieving students who have worked so hard for so many years to earn a space at the University of California.”

The admitted freshman applicants were 37 percent Asian, 32 percent White, 25 percent Latino, 4 percent African-American and 1 percent Native American. Fifty-six percent were female, and 44 percent were male.

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