Demand for admission to the University of California at Berkeley’s 2012-13 freshman class hit a record high this season, with nearly 62,000 students applying. Among them, some 13,000 exceptional students have been offered admission, campus officials announced today (Tuesday, April 17).
This year’s admissions rate was 21 percent: 61,695 students applied, and 13,037 received offers to start school in either the fall or the spring of the 2012-13 academic year. Last year, that combined admissions rate was 26 percent.
For students offered admission starting in the fall, the admissions rate was approximately 18 percent — the lowest on record for UC Berkeley. Last year, the fall admissions rate was 21 percent.
According to Anne De Luca, associate vice chancellor for admissions and enrollment, the enrollment target for 2012-13 is roughly the same as last year’s target. “The key difference this year is the dramatic increase in applications, the high demand from California students, out-of-state students and international students,” said De Luca.
Last year 52,900 students submitted applications, and 10 years ago roughly 36,000 students applied for the 2002-03 academic year.
The jump in applications reflects a national trend toward increasing demand for access to top universities such as UC Berkeley, but other factors as well, according to De Luca. She noted UC Berkeley’s outreach efforts in more states and countries, as well as stepped-up efforts to reach students from underserved California communities. Overall, De Luca noted, California high school students’ interest in attending UC Berkeley remains very high.
“We were very fortunate to have not only a large pool of applicants, but a talented and very competitive group of students,” said De Luca. “The students who received offers of admission were truly the best of best; their diligence paid off. We are especially pleased to see that the admitted class represents a broad range of income levels, communities, backgrounds and interests.”
Among the students offered admission are numerous winners of national speech and debate tournaments; the creator of a computer application that is available in the iTunes store; a national competitor in Irish dance; an actress with a recurring role on a television series; and nationally or internationally ranked athletes in fencing, martial arts, figure skating, archery, badminton, gymnastics, roller skating, table tennis and BMX (off-road bicycle) racing. The admitted class also includes semi-finalists in the Siemens Competition for Math, Science & Technology, a national competition based on students’ high school science research projects.
The California students offered admission are from virtually every part of the state, representing 54 of the state’s 58 counties. Most are from the San Francisco Bay Area (29 percent), Los Angeles County (27 percent) and other Southern California counties (23 percent). The fewest are from the Central Valley, but their numbers are growing: These students submit the fewest applications (about 2,000 applications for 2012-13 were from the Central Valley, compared to more than 11,000 from the Bay Area), but they are now submitting more applications and their representation in the admitted class of freshmen has gone from 4 percent last year to 5 percent for 2012-13.
Among out-of-state students, the highest number of admitted students — about 500 — comes from the mid-Atlantic region, which includes New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware and Washington, DC. In the international pool of admitted students, most are from China (30 percent) and Korea (19 percent), with others from countries including India, Canada, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Other data from the 2012-13 admissions cycle show:
• California resident admission increased to 9,278 for 2012-13 from 9,267 the previous year. (Campus officials continue their multi-year effort to bring California resident enrollment closer in line with the actual funding levels provided by the state, levels that have not kept pace with enrollment.)
• The admitted California students come from a broad cross-section of socioeconomic backgrounds, with students from low-performing high schools also successfully competing for admission. Admissions officials’ outreach efforts included schools that rank in the lower tier on the state’s Academic Performance Index.
• Admissions for international and out-of-state students dropped to 3,759 offers this year, compared to 4,403 in 2011-12. Admissions officials continue to fine tune the number of offers needed to reach enrollment targets for this group, as for the 2011-12 school year, more of these students accepted offers than officials anticipated.
• As a group, international and out-of-state students continue to be high-achieving scholars with SAT and ACT scores generally higher than those of their California counterparts.
• Among the overall freshman admitted class, the percentage of underrepresented students (African American, American Indian and Chicano-Latino students), increased to approximately 19 percent of the 2012-13 admitted class, compared to 17 percent last year. The number of underrepresented students from California increased to 2,008 this year from 1,921 for 2011-12.
• More admitted students are filling out financial aid forms, about 8 percent more this year compared to 2011-12. Financial aid officials credit UC Berkeley’s Middle Class Access Plan (MCAP), a new program designed to help middle-class families more easily afford an undergraduate education.
• The admitted class remains very strong academically, with an average unweighted GPA (4.0 scale) of 3.89. The average weighted GPA (which includes additional points for Advanced Placement classes) is 4.36. The average SAT I total score was 2068, with 98 members of the admitted class receiving a perfect score of 2400.
In addition to academic performance, UC Berkeley’s admissions process evaluates student applicants based on a host of factors including leadership skills, persistence, and how students took advantage of the opportunities available to them or overcame obstacles they faced. Students were notified of admissions decisions on March 29 and have until May 1 to accept their offers by submitting a Statement of Intent to Register. Of the 13,037 students offered admission, campus admissions expect 4,250 students will enroll for fall 2012 and another 950 in spring 2013, roughly the same targets in place for 2011-12.
For more detailed data on the 2012-13 admitted class, please see the UC Berkeley admissions charts, which show combined data for California residents and non-residents. Also, see additional charts on the University of California systemwide website that include statistics from all UC campuses and generally are focused on California residents.