UC System Sees Modest Decline in Student Applications for Fall 2023

The University of California (UC) system is seeing a modest decline in student applications for fall 2023, with state residents holding steady and non-residents declining, according to preliminary data released Friday.[0] UC Berkeley and UC San Diego are two campuses that have seen increases in California transfer applicants for fall 2023, which is a key focus of state policymakers. Berkeley officials attribute the rise in applications to their enhanced outreach efforts to more communities within California, as well as a decrease in efforts towards out-of-state and international students.

UC Berkeley drew in 72,656 California first-year applicants and 16,112 California transfer applicants for fall 2023. Berkeley admissions officials reported that they have been holding recruiting events in more regions of California, even during the pandemic, when many other institutions pulled back.[1] UC Berkeley’s outreach efforts are in line with campus and UC systemwide goals of enrolling more California residents.

Transfer student applications dipped to 39,363 for fall 2023 — a 2.4% decline over last year compared with a 12.6% drop between 2021 and 2022.[1] UC systemwide, transfer applications decreased by 3.7%.[2] The pandemic has caused a significant decrease in the number of transfer student applicants, but the numbers remain robust and consistent with last year’s totals.[1]

UC Irvine was one of the three UC campuses that saw an increase in applications overall.[3] First-year applications increased to 121,074 for fall 2023 from 119,165 last year, and transfer applications decreased slightly to 22,087.[1] The total 143,000 applications set a record for the third consecutive year.[1] The ratios of applicants from historically disadvantaged backgrounds (African American, American Indian, Chicano/Latino and Pacific Islander) stayed consistent.[4] Among California residents who applied for first-year status, they represented 36%; among U.S. domestic applicants from California Community Colleges, they accounted for 33%.

The University of California continues to attract impressive numbers of student applicants each year, and is working to ensure that more California residents are enrolled in the UC system.

0. “Record number of California residents apply to UC Berkeley” UC Berkeley, 24 Feb. 2023, https://news.berkeley.edu/2023/02/24/record-number-of-california-residents-apply-to-uc-berkeley/

1. “UC applications slow and Californians may be the winners” Los Angeles Times, 24 Feb. 2023, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2023-02-24/uc-applications-slow-down-for-fall-2023-with-drop-in-out-of-state-students

2. “UCLA Fall 2023 Apps Soar to Near-Historic Highs” Mirage News, 24 Feb. 2023, https://www.miragenews.com/ucla-fall-2023-apps-soar-to-near-historic-highs-954753

3. “UC Irvine receives most applications in campus history for third year in a row” Newswise, 24 Feb. 2023, https://www.newswise.com/articles/uc-irvine-receives-most-applications-in-campus-history-for-third-year-in-a-row

4. “High numbers apply for fall 2023 undergraduate study” University of California, Davis, 24 Feb. 2023, https://www.ucdavis.edu/news/high-numbers-apply-uc-davis-fall-2023

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