Campus & community, Campus news

UC Berkeley admit class includes 1,000 more Californians

By Janet Gilmore

More than 14,400 high school students have been offered admission to UC Berkeley’s 2016-17 freshman class, and the group includes 1,000 more California residents than last year’s admitted class.

California residents always comprise the majority of UC Berkeley’s admitted freshmen, but hundreds more were offered admission this year due to additional funding. State lawmakers provided the University of California system with additional funding to grow the number of UC students who are California residents, and to help fulfill a commitment by UC officials to increase California-resident enrollment on all  nine undergraduate campuses.

Freshman admissions decisions were posted this spring. UC Berkeley released its data today in coordination with the UC Office of the President’s release of admissions data for all UC campuses.

Freshman admissions

A total of 82,570 students applied for a seat in the UC Berkeley freshman class. This is a record number and represents a 4.6 percent increase in applicants compared to last year’s applicant pool.  Of those who applied, 14,425 or 17.5 percent were offered admission, a similar scenario to last year’s admissions cycle. The admissions rate this year was 21.3 percent for California residents, 16.5 percent for out-of-state students and 7.6 percent for international students.

“It’s such a treat to be able to admit more Californians this year and to see that diversity among our California admitted students has increased as well,” said Amy Jarich, UC Berkeley associate vice chancellor and director of admissions. ”We have an increase in African American, Chicano/Latino and American Indian students offered admission here, compared to last year.”

Campus officials are planning to hold the percentage of new freshmen from outside of California to the same enrollment level as last year’s numbers, in alignment with UC systemwide admissions planning, while the number of enrolled California-resident freshmen will increase this coming school year by more than 300 students.

In addition, the number of newly enrolled transfer students from California will increase by more than 400 students. Transfer admissions decisions were posted this spring.

UC officials hope to increase California freshman and transfer student enrollment at UC campuses through 2018-19, assuming there is sufficient funding from state officials. The state of California helps pay to educate California students, while students from outside the state pay the full cost of their education through supplemental tuition.

California students admitted to UC Berkeley’s new freshman class come from 50 of the state’s 58 counties. Those from outside of California hail from 48 states and U.S. territories and from 74 countries. The youngest admitted freshman is 15, and the oldest is 23.

The admissions data reflect students offered admission in late March and those offered admission later, from the wait list. Admissions officials use a wait list to more accurately reach their enrollment targets for the coming school year rather than rely solely on their estimates of how many students will accept the standard offer of admission and ultimately enroll.

Other information about UC Berkeley’s admitted freshman class includes the following:

  • Academics . The admitted pool’s academic profile is strong, with an average GPA (unweighted) of 3.90, about the same as a year ago. The average SAT score was 2092, the same as last year. (The grades and test scores of students from outside California were, on average, higher than those of California residents, as has been the case for many years.)
  • Residency . California residents make up 67.6 percent of the admitted class, compared to 65.5 percent in 2015-16.
  • Underrepresented minority students . The number of African American students who were offered admission increased from 426 last year to 479 for fall 2016. The number of Chicano/Latino California residents increased from 1,876 to 1,981. The number of American Indians increased from 76 to 78.
  • First-generation students . Students whose parents did not attend college make up 12 percent of the admitted students, compared to 13 percent last year.

A more detailed review of UC Berkeley admissions data is available here [].  Also available is UC system admissions data, which includes figures for all UC campuses and tends to focus on California-resident data. Go to .

Some students admitted to UC Berkeley will be offered the opportunity to participate in various small-cohort programs on campus or abroad in fall 2016. This includes the Fall Program for freshmen, a small, collaborative learning community for first-year students in the College of Letters and Science. The program has cohorts that attend classes at UC Berkeley or at UC Berkeley facilities in San Francisco. It features small class sizes with no more than 100 students in a lecture and fewer than 60 students in each course, as well as one-on-one advising by a small team dedicated to students’ success. Additional information is here at .

In addition, the campus’s Global Edge program is entering its second year.  Last year, about 60 students spent their fall semester with fellow Berkeley freshmen in London before returning to the UC Berkeley campus for spring semester. See .

A new program has launched in in France as well: Sciences Po. UC Berkeley students can spend their first two years in France at one of three Sciences Po campuses – Reims, Le Havre or Menton. All instruction is in English. The last two years of their undergraduate program are spent at UC Berkeley. Students earn two degrees over the course of the four-year program. Sciences Po is France’s leading university in the social sciences and has been educating decision-makers in the public and private sectors for 140 years. For more information see .

Transfer admissions

More than 19,100 students applied for admission, up from 17,239 applicants a year ago. Of those, 4,612 were offered admission, compared to 3,763 admitted for 2015-16.

The data show that California community college students make up 93 percent of the admitted transfer students.  Among this diverse group, 62 percent grew up speaking a language other than English at home and 28.5 percent come from families where neither parent attended college. The students’ average age is 22, and 6 percent will be 30 or older when classes begin in August.

Ethnic diversity in this group has increased as well: 1,204 admitted transfer students are underrepresented minorities, up from 935 last year.

While applicants come from scores of California community colleges, top sources include Diablo Valley College, Santa Monica College, De Anza College, Pasadena City College and Berkeley City College.

Transfer applicants are evaluated on their academic achievement in post-secondary coursework, preparation for their intended majors at UC Berkeley and engagement and leadership outside the classroom.

View the data:

• New freshman admits 2016 (PDF)

• Last year’s data