By Jocelyn Gecker
The University of California said Thursday it has offered admission to nearly 70,000 California undergraduates for the fall, a slight dip from last year's historic high, after receiving a record number of applications.
A total of 106,011 students were accepted as freshman from an all-time high of 209,918 applications to one of the public system's nine undergraduate campuses, according to preliminary figures released Thursday.
Not all students who are admitted end up attending UC schools, so it is still too early to know precise enrollment figures, said Stephen Handel, the university's associated vice president for undergraduate admissions. Those will be available in the fall.
Californians account for roughly two-thirds of all the applicants offered a spot, but those 69,972 residents marked a decrease of 1.7 percent from last year's historic high. For the 2016-17 academic year, UC accepted more than 71,000 California undergraduates and enrolled 7,500 new California undergraduates. The boost was part of a three-year goal of enrolling 10,000 additional California undergrads by fall 2018.
Despite the slight decline this year, the UC is on track to enroll an additional 2,500 California residents this fall, it said in a statement.
For the fourth year in a row, the university also admitted more Latino students than white students, a reflection of the diverse racial makeup of California where Latino children are a majority of students in public schools.
Latinos represented 33 percent percent of all California freshman admitted, compared to about 24 percent for white students.
The proportion of African American students increased slightly to 5 percent, from 4.9 percent last year.
“UC's continued efforts to broaden the racial, ethnic and socioeconomic diversity of its undergraduate student body is also reflected in the makeup of the admitted class,” it said in a statement.
Earlier this year, the UC Board of Regents approved its first ever enrollment cap, of 18 percent, on nonresident undergraduates at most UC campuses starting this fall, heeding calls from the public to reserve more spots at its campuses for students from around the state.
The system's most prestigious campuses, including UC Berkeley and UCLA, will be given greater leeway.
The average GPA for students admitted to the UC's most competitive campuses, including UC Berkeley and UCLA, was “well in excess of 4.0,” said Handel. He noted that GPA was one of 14 factors, albeit an important one, considered in the admissions process.
A state audit delivered last year found that UC had admitted a growing number of nonresident students, some of whom were less qualified than in-state students, at the expense of residents.
After a newly approved tuition hike, nonresidents will pay $40,644 in tuition and fees, up from $38,976 per year. Residents will pay $12,630 in tuition and fees, up from $12, 294. The tuition increase approved earlier this year was the first since 2011.
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