Fewer California Freshmen At UC; Out-Of-State Admissions Soar

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UC Berkeley, Cal

The UC Berkeley campus. (UC Berkeley)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — Getting into the University of California is getting harder for freshmen — unless you’re not from California.

University officials released admissions data Monday showing that just under 70 percent of California freshmen applicants were offered admission for fall 2011. That’s down from 71.7 percent last year and 72.6 percent in 2009.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

The rate of out-of-state students being offered admission jumped to more than 60 percent this year from about 51 percent in 2010 and 44 percent in 2009.

The admission rate also increased for international students applying as freshmen in 2011. The university offered admission to about 64 percent of international freshman applicants, up from around 53 percent in 2010 and 44 percent in 2009.

The university’s interim director of undergraduate admissions, Pamela Burnett, said the increase reflects the UC regents’ recommendation to increase the number of admitted non-California students to counteract the decline in state funding. Students from outside the state pay about $23,000 more annually than in-state students.

“The additional revenue nonresidents bring will help our campuses hire faculty and increase course options for all students,” Burnett said.

The regents’ recommendation also says that no more than 10 percent of the overall incoming freshman class should consist of non-California students. More than 18 percent of admitted freshmen for fall 2011 are not from California, according to university figures.

University officials say they expect the proportion of Californians who ultimately enroll in the nine-campus system will well exceed 90 percent because out-of-state students accept admission offers at a lower rate.

Other California freshmen may be admitted from a waitlist of more than 16,000. Still others placed in a “referral pool” for eligible students not admitted to the campus of their choice may end up attending UC Merced, the system’s newest and least popular campus.

Despite the university’s budget woes, Burnett said the university still admitted about 500 more California applicants than last year — more than 59,000 in total. The university offered admission to a combined total of more than 13,000 out-of-state and international students.

Once again, UCLA was the most competitive of the UC’s nine campuses, with an admission rate of 25.3 percent. UC Berkeley was just behind with a rate of 25.5 percent, including students admitted for spring 2011. The least selective was UC Merced, which admitted 78 percent of freshmen who applied.

The ethnic breakdown of incoming freshmen remained about steady except among Latinos, who represented a greater percentage of admitted freshmen at every campus as the rate of students who failed to report their ethnicity declined.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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