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Friday, April 2, 1999
Terry Lightfoot (510) 987-9194


Fulfilling its longstanding commitment to accommodate the state's top high school graduates, the University of California has offered admission to 75 percent of all freshman applicants for fall 1999.

The growing number of applicants challenges the university's ability to find a place for them in the system. Nevertheless, the university continues to offer admission to the vast majority of these academically talented California students, including those not admitted to UC's most popular campuses.

The university admitted nearly 47,000 students, an increase of 8.1 percent over fall 1998 (see Table A). More than 90 percent of the admitted students are California residents.

To accommodate all academically eligible students, the university encourages applicants to apply to more than one campus which increases their chances of being admitted.

In general, students who submit multiple applications, even if they are not admitted at their preferred campus, receive at least one admission offer from another campus of their choice.

In addition, eligible California students who were not admitted to their campus of choice and who did not apply to another UC campus will be offered a spot somewhere in the system as part of the university's referral process. This process is currently underway and will be completed by mid-April.

"The university's commitment to accommodating all eligible students ensures that the majority of applicants are successful in UC's admission process," said UC President Richard C. Atkinson. "At the completion of the process, nearly all eligible high school graduates who applied will benefit from the educational experience offered by the world's best public university system."

Because of their excellent academic background, many of these students are extremely attractive to other universities across the country. To encourage these students to enroll at UC, the campuses and the President's Office are engaged in aggressive recruitment efforts designed to highlight the wealth of educational opportunities available within the UC system.

One important hurdle some students must overcome before deciding which campus to attend is cost. Many students, particularly those from low-income families in rural communities and the inner cities, overestimate the cost of college.

To address the misconception, Atkinson is sending a personal letter to those students reminding them of the value of a UC education and the availability of financial aid for those who choose to attend. Nearly a third of UC undergraduates come from families with annual incomes less than $30,000.

"No student should decline an offer to attend UC because of cost. There is no better value in higher education than the University of California," Atkinson said.

Systemwide unduplicated data show that the number of underrepresented students admitted for fall 1999 increased by 9 percent (6,822 to 7,439) over last year. The number of Chicano students admitted increased by 8.9 percent (3,946 to 4,297), Latinos by 11 percent (1,312 to 1,456) and African Americans by 11.4 percent (1,248 to 1,390). American Indian admits declined by 6.3 percent (316 to 296). As a proportion of admitted students, underrepresented students made up 15.9 percent for fall 1999 compared to 15.7 percent for fall 1998 (see Table A).

The number of white students admitted increased by 22.6 percent from 16,016 to 19,634. Asian American students admitted increased by 12.5 percent (13,697 to 15,415) and other students increased 33.4 percent (640 to 854)
(see Table A). The number of admitted students who declined to state an ethnicity declined 42.4 percent from 6,216 to 3,579 (see Table A).

"Due to many immediate outreach efforts and evolving campus admissions processes that look at students in a more comprehensive manner, it appears that declines in the number of admitted underrepresented students is leveling off across the system," Atkinson said. "Now the university can concentrate on expanding the pool of UC eligible students from all backgrounds through our outreach efforts and partnerships with schools."

In terms of geography, two-thirds of admitted students come from Los Angeles and Orange counties and the San Francisco Bay Area. Less than 11 percent of students come from the Central Valley (see Table B).

Nearly 57 percent of admitted students are female and 43.3 percent are male (see Table B).