The University of California may be suffering a series of bloody cuts while six-figure administrators demand more pay (what's new, right?), but that didn't stop high-school seniors from applying in droves to the UC system in Fall 2010.
Of all the campuses, the Daily Bruin proudly reports, UCLA received by far the most freshman applications:
Susan Wilbur, director of UC undergraduate admissions, said she was surprised at the 6.1 percent increase in applications, given the stagnating number of students graduating from high school.
UCLA received a total of more than 80,000 applications – more than any other UC school. There were about 60,000 freshman applications and 20,000 transfer applications.
Compare that total to 70,500 at UC San Diego and 69,000 at UC Berkeley. But UC spokesman Ricardo Vasquez says the Los Angeles campus has always been the most popular — oftentimes receiving more freshman apps than any other university in the nation.
Last year, the largest spike in applicants of a certain ethnicity was that of black high-schoolers; this year, that number dropped slightly, but Latino applicants skyrocketed.
UCLA received 1,828 more in-state freshman Latino applicants than last year, and 2,505 more than two years ago. And that's saying something, considering the total number of in-state freshman applicants only rose about 1,500 total since last year, and 2,500 since the year before.
Vasquez blames it on the changing demographics of the state, as well as — of course — the university's own efforts.
“We do have outreach programs throughout the state that prepare schools with low [Academic Performance Index] rankings in underserved areas,” he says. “The president himself was out there trying to encourage students to apply. He's been going up and down the state.”
From the university's newsroom, that very president — the infamous $800,000-a-year Mark G. Yudof — gets to be the good guy for once, next to Governor Jerry Brown's devastating budget proposal:
The 16.4 percent drop in state general fund support for UC would result in a historic shift in how California's public research university is funded: For the first time in UC's 143-year history, student tuition revenue will surpass what the state contributes to the university's core operating budget.
“The crossing of this threshold transcends mere symbolism and should be profoundly disturbing to all Californians,” said UC President Mark G. Yudof, calling it a sad day for California.
That whole mess in mind, it'll be pretty difficult for any of the UC campuses to accept more students, despite the fact that more are applying. A UCLA spokeswoman tells us the campus hasn't been given target admissions numbers yet for Fall 2011, but that last year, 13,088 freshmen were admitted.
That's up from 12,179 the year before. But compared to Brown, former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger went easy on the UC system, opting instead for cuts to state welfare and health services. Well — also just opting for a giant deficit.
A final curious stat from the report: In the UCLA applicant pool, the increase in both first-generation college-goers and seniors from low-performing high schools rose one percentage point — while applicants from low-income families sank 1 percent in the opposite direction. [Full chart here.]
In any case, we're proud of y'all for coming out! And can we just say please, try to refrain from hating USC kids to the point of stabbing them with knives in parking lots next year.