According to a press release issued on January 14, the University of California Santa Barbara experienced — compared to last year — a 7.7 percent increase in undergraduate student applications for Fall quarter of 2010. Of these applications, 46,672 are for perspective incoming freshmen, whereas 12,320 are applications for transfer to UCSB. Both are substantial increases from 2009’s application rates. In order to compensate from increased enrollment requests, the UCSB campus is opting to decrease target enrollment by 650 from Fall 2009.
This increase in applicants is not solely limited to our local Santa Barbara campus, but the trend is seemingly mimicked for all nine University of California schools, creating a record number of undergraduate applications for the UC System at 134,029 applicants. Each campus saw increases in applications from both new and transferring students.
After a year of budget cuts, class reductions, and fee increases, one wonders how this influx of enrollment requests will ultimately affect the way of life at UCSB. In order to address this question, The Office of Public Affairs at the University of California, Santa Barbara released a statement regarding the issue of increased enrollment stating that “…UCSB will work diligently to ensure that the size of next fall’s entering class does not adversely affect the quality of the educational experience offered to student or prevent students from enrolling in the classes they want and need.”
Christine Van Gieson, UCSB director of admissions, acknowledged these increases as a success by saying, “We have to applaud all the great work being done by our faculty and staff to get the word out about UC Santa Barbara and its outstanding programs.” But the number of admission requests is not the only important factor for UCSB, as the quality of the new student pool is also a crucial factor. Academic quality and diversity of incoming students play an important role in the admissions process. However, each of these categories, according to UCSB Public Affairs, also saw improvements from 2009. The average applicant Grade Point Average for 2010 is 3.74, up from 2009’s 3.71 average, and applications from members of “underrepresented minority groups” also saw an increase of 11.3 percent from the previous year.
As UCSB’s eventful year filled with budget decreases came to a close, we usher in the New Year with the news of increased admission applications, GPA averages, and diversity, accompanied by a lower admissions target by the UCSB Admissions Office, and promises of unaffected education standards by the Director of Admissions.