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UC Santa Barbara Sets Enrollment Records As Housing Plan Takes Shape

More first-year students than ever applied to attend UC Santa Barbara in fall 2016, with increases across the board — freshmen, transfers and those living in and outside California.

The university received 94,015 undergraduate applications, which is more than a 10-percent increase over last year, according to UCSB admission data.

The overwhelming majority (77,090) were prospective freshmen, with 16,925 applicants hoping to transfer to Santa Barbara.

This is UCSB’s seventh consecutive year of first-year enrollment increases, although applications have increased every year since 1993 except in 2009, according to Lisa Przekop, campus director of admissions.

UCSB numbers mirror those across the University of California System, which broke its own record by taking in 206,339 applications at nine undergraduate campuses — a 5.2-percent increase in freshmen and a 11.8-percent bump for transfers.

“We are very happy that UC Santa Barbara continues to be a top choice among California high school applicants,” Przekop said in a statement.

“Our admissions counselors participated in approximately 1,000 events this fall, including school visits, college fairs and webinars promoting UCSB to California families.”

The number of California freshman applicants to UCSB increased by 3,002 to 55,114 — a 6-percent jump from 2015 — while out-of-state applicants went up 16 percent and international student applications rose 21 percent.

Nearly 90 percent of transfer applicants were currently enrolled in California community colleges, data shows.

Because of UCSB’s Long Range Development Plan, which saw final approval in late 2014, the university plans to accept more students and house them all, too.

Przekop previously told Noozhawk most of UCSB’s projected growth over the next five years would be at the graduate level.

UCSB’s plan aims to accommodate academic program changes and an influx of students projected through 2025.

Based on a 1 percent annual enrollment increase, that’s 250 new students a year and 5,000 total.

The Sierra Madre student apartment complex on Storke Road opened to 515 students last fall, offering 115 three-bedroom, two-bedroom and one-bedroom apartments. Thirty-six units were leased as single residences to UCSB student, faculty and staff families.

The San Joaquin Apartments are slated for a phased completion beginning this summer, with a partial fall 2016 opening, according to university housing.

That complex will house approximately 1,000 residents with a focus on lower division students like sophomores. Most of the 186 new apartments will house four to six students per apartment.

Last year, UCSB also acquired nearby properties in Isla Vista known as Tropicana Gardens, Tropicana Del Norte and the Tropicana Villas, which house some 1,050 students. 

As of last year, the apartments were also marketed extensively to Santa Barbara City College students, but that will likely change come fall 2016.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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