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Record Number of Freshmen Planning to Attend UCSB

The campus is expecting 4,400 to 4,500 first-year students to enroll, 300 to 400 more than expected

UCSB experienced a very robust response to its offers of admission for fall 2009. A total of 4,871 successful applicants have submitted Statements of Intent to Register, indicating that they plan to enroll as freshmen.

The UC Office of the President on Tuesday released freshman enrollment statistics for all undergraduate campuses in the system on its Web site. Click here for more information.

The number of students who actually enroll in the fall will be lower, and will not be known until about mid-October, a few weeks into the fall quarter. The UCSB campus is expecting 4,400 to 4,500 first-year students to enroll, 300 to 400 more than expected, according to Christine Van Gieson, director of admissions. The students are among the 21,054 high school seniors (from an applicant pool of 44,673) who were admitted to UCSB this spring.

UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang said the campus was looking forward “to welcoming an outstanding and diverse entering class in the fall.”

“We’ve had an unprecedented response to our admission offers for fall,” Van Gieson said. “We made 1,650 fewer admission offers than a year ago in order to enroll a smaller class in the fall. But we received 275 more SIRs than last year — a change in yield from 20 percent in 2008 to 23 percent this year.”

Van Gieson noted that the economic downturn and well-publicized plans for enrollment reductions at UC campuses and other institutions combined to make this an unpredictable year for admissions. Still, she attributed UCSB’s numbers to the growing academic standing and popularity of the campus, its reputation as a supportive living and learning environment, and the possible impact of economic uncertainty, as higher proportions of students this year enroll at public institutions rather than at private and/or out-of-state colleges and universities.

The academic qualifications and the diversity of the students who have said they plan to enroll at UCSB are at higher levels than a year ago. The average total SAT score was 1803, up from 1782 last year, and the grade point average edged up to 3.85 from 3.84. Underrepresented minority students — blacks, American Indians, and Chicanos and Latinos — increased from 1,396 in 2008 to 1,463 this year and will account for 30 percent of the entering first-year class. (Individual applicants to UC are not identified to the campuses by race or ethnicity until after admissions decisions are made.)

Statistics on incoming transfer students are not yet available, but Van Gieson said UCSB had admitted 6,423 transfer applicants from California community colleges, which is 347 more than last year. The campus expects to enroll about 1,800 new transfer students in the fall — 200 more than last year.

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