UCLA Admits Diverse, 'Most Accomplished' Fall Class In History

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - More than 15,000 high school seniors and 5,300 transfer applicants were offered admission at UCLA this fall, representing the university's most academically accomplished class and one of its most diverse, officials said today.

“Academically, the credentials of the admitted fall 2021 freshman class exceed those of any previous class, as measured by unweighted and weighted GPA and the number of completed honors, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and University of California-required A-G courses,” according to UCLA.

The UCLA figures were part of a record-breaking number of freshman admission across the University of California system.

System-wide, freshman admissions jumped 11% over 2020, rising to 132,353 from 119,054. Admission of California freshmen reached an all-time high with 84,223 students, an increase of 5.34% over the 79,953 from 2020.

The university system also admitted the largest-ever class of California Community College transfer students, notching up to 28,453 from 28,074, a year-over-year increase of 1.35%. According to UC officials, 53% of those offered transfer admission will be the first in their family to earn a four-year college degree, according to UC officials.

The UC system and UCLA are growing in terms of the racial, ethnic and socioeconomic diversity of admitted freshman and transfers, with a significant jump in the number of students from groups that have been historically underrepresented on campus.

Latino/a students are the largest ethnic group in the UC system, representing 37% of admitted California freshmen for a second time, up nearly 9% to 31,220 from 28,662, following the previous record in 2020. System-wide, admissions of Black students grew by 15.6%, rising to 4,608 from 3,987 in 2020.

Meanwhile, admission of California freshmen who would be first-generation college students held steady at 45%.

“These remarkable numbers are a testament to the hard work and resiliency of students and their families across California,” said UC President Michael V. Drake. “I am particularly heartened by the social and economic diversity of those offered a place at UC. Fall will be an exciting time on our campuses.”

Among admitted U.S. freshman at UCLA, the number of Black students increased by 21% over last year, from approximately 750 to more than 900, while the number of Chicano/Latino students grew by 7%, from approximately 2,430 to more than 2,600. The number of admitted Pacific Islander freshman students more than doubled, and American Indian freshman admissions rose by 28%. Asian American and white prospective freshmen accounted for 41% and 27% of U.S. admissions, respectively.

Altogether, students from historically underrepresented groups make up 34% of all admitted California-resident freshmen -- the highest proportion at UCLA in over 30 years.

“We are delighted by the broad diversity of our admitted freshman class, and we are deeply impressed by their outstanding achievements, especially in the face of the challenges and hardships brought on by the pandemic,” said Youlonda Copeland-Morgan, UCLA's vice provost for enrollment management.

“Our outreach and recruitment partnerships with underserved high schools and community-based organizations have borne fruit,” she said. “In addition, the removal of standardized testing encouraged many more high-achieving students from underrepresented backgrounds to apply to UCLA.

Throughout the UC system, students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups make up 43% of admitted California freshmen, the highest proportion of an incoming undergraduate class and the greatest number in UC history at 36,462.

University officials also noted a jump in the socioeconomic diversity of prospective freshmen from California, with admissions of first-generation students increasing from 28% to 32% and admissions of those from low-income families rising from 32% to 36% at UCLA.

When it comes to transfer students, UCLA admissions from groups that have been historically underrepresented on campus also increased. Black students accounted for 7% of admitted U.S. transfer students, up from 6% in 2020, while Chicano/Latino U.S. transfer admissions rose from 26% to 28%. The proportion of American Indian transfer students remained steady at 1% of the total.

Underrepresented students at UCLA make up 35% of all admitted U.S. transfers, compared with 33% last year. As a proportion of total admitted U.S. transfer students, Asian Americans remained at 31%, the same level as 2020, and white students declined slightly, from 33% to 32%.

Fall 2021 applications to UC schools from California freshmen were up more than 13%, rising to 128,266 from 113,471 in 2020. Campuses made efforts to admit as many qualified California students as space could allow given the expanded pool of highly qualified, hardworking students this year, system officials said.

“UC is continuing to honor its commitment to guarantee admission to high-performing California high school students and providing a clear pathway for talented community college students to join us,” said Han Mi Yoon-Wu, executive director of Undergraduate Admissions at UC. “We are proud to be able to welcome so many exceptional young people to UC.”

UC locations with the greatest annual overall year-over-year freshman admission gains include UC Davis up 19.2% (42,726 from 35,838); UC Irvine up 6.9% (31,261 from 29,245); and UC San Diego up 6% (40,616 from 38,305).

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