The University of California system remains a popular destination for incoming freshmen – and getting into UCLA is now as hard as getting into Tufts and Cornell, at least for California students.
The 10-campus U.C. system drew nearly 140,000 applications for the undergraduate class, according to Ralph Becker, a columnist for College Counseling. He said UCLA led all UC campuses with 99,000 applications, which include community college transfers. Berkeley came in second place, with a record 67,600 applications, and UCSD followed with 67,400.
UCLA reported an in-state admission rate of 17.4 percent, Becker said, a level comparable to Cornell and Tufts, two of the nation’s most selective universities. Overall, the 10 campuses accepted 82,850 freshman, for an average acceptance rate of 59 percent. Berkeley and San Diego campuses were more exclusive than the average.
The numbers show that despite the rising expense and increasingly competitive nature of college admissions, many Americans clearly still consider higher education a calling card they can’t do without.
But the prestigious public U.C. system is changing in one profound way: out-of-state students increasingly make up more of its enrollment. About a third of the 14,100 freshmen admitted at Berkeley, for instance, come from a state other than California.
These out-of-state students pay premium tuition for being nonresidents. At current tuition rates, they would bring in $112 million for UC coffers, Becker wrote. As college tuition increases for in-state students slow, many public university systems, including the UC system, will continue to see out of state admits as a revenue source.
According to the American Council on Education, tuition growth last year was 4.8 percent, the lowest increase in more than a decade.