Press Room

UC applications break records for 12th straight year

More than 206,000 students applied to attend the University of California as undergraduates in fall 2016, an overall jump of 6.4 percent over fall 2015 and the twelfth consecutive year of record-breaking high numbers of applicants, according to preliminary data released today (Jan. 11).

Data from the application cycle that closed Nov. 30 for freshmen and Jan. 4 for transfer students show that 206,339 students applied for admission to at least one UC campus – 166,380 as freshmen and 39,959 as transfers. It was the first time that the total number of UC applicants topped 200,000.

All nine undergraduate UC campuses saw gains in total applications for fall 2016, ranging from 5.8 percent at Berkeley to 13.5 percent at Merced.

Across the UC system, freshman applications increased by 5.2 percent, while transfer applications rose 11.8 percent.

The university received 2,183 transfer applications from California residents after it announced a one-time extension of the application deadline for transfer students, from Nov. 30, 2015 to Jan. 4, 2016. The extension came as the university announced a major effort to boost enrollment of California students at all nine of its undergraduate campuses.

“The increase in applications from Californians will help us reach our goal of adding 5,000 more undergraduate residents this year and 10,000 over three years,” said UC President Janet Napolitano. “In particular, our efforts to boost the number of applicants transferring from California’s community colleges are paying off.”

Every UC undergraduate campus received more California freshman applications for this coming fall than it did for 2015, with Merced registering the largest percentage increase, 11.3 percent.

Latinos, the largest racial/ethnic group among California high school students, rose from 34.1 percent last year to 35.8 percent of California freshman applicants for fall 2016. The number and proportion of African American California resident applicants for the 2016 freshman class also grew, while the proportion of American Indians, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and whites declined slightly.

Transfer applications from students who reported a California Community College as their most recent school also rose to 33,052 for fall 2016. That represented an increase of 11.2 percent over last year.

Among California Community College students, UC received more transfer applications than last year from African American, Asian American, Latino and white students, and slightly fewer from Pacific Islanders.

An additional 3,108 high school seniors applied for freshman admission from other U.S. states for a total of 33,625, an increase of 10.2 percent over last year. Among transfers, out-of-state applicants rose by 334 students.  Freshman applicants from abroad grew by 2,779 students, while 382 additional international students applied as transfers.

Details about high school students applying for freshman admission and community college transfer applicants are posted here.