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Reports & Research

January 31, 2013


For First Time, Latino Students Constitute Largest Segment of UC Freshman Applicants

The number of fall 2013 freshman applications to the University of California's nine undergraduate campuses has risen to record highs, with increases over the previous year ranging from 9.7 percent to 16.9 percent. Marking a milestone in California demographics, Chicanos-Latinos — the largest racial/ethnic group among state high school graduates — now are the largest ethnic group among California freshman applicants, according to figures released by the University of California on January 18.

The number of California students who applied for admission as freshmen grew by 6.2 percent over last year for a total of 99,129. All campuses saw gains in this category, demonstrating again the high demand for a UC education among the state's students. On average, California students applied to approximately four UC campuses.

There also were increases in the numbers of domestic non-resident and international applicants for freshman admission, from 19,128 to 21,970 for domestic non-residents and from 13,873 to 18,659 for international students.

Among the California students who applied for freshman admission, applications from all ethnic groups grew in absolute numbers. Chicano-Latino students grew as a percentage of the total applicants, from 30.1 percent last year to 32.1 percent for 2013, making them the largest ethnic group among California freshman applicants. Asian background California residents accounted for 30.9 percent of this year’s UC freshman applicants, and white California residents accounted for 28.1 percent of this year’s UC freshman applicants.

(This contrasts with California’s enrollment in K-12 public schools, which is 52.03 percent Latino, 26.15 percent white, 8.61 percent Asian, and 6.53 percent African American, according to 2011-12 figures compiled by the California Department of Education.)

Moreover, 45.7 percent of this year’s UC freshman applicants indicated they would be the first in their families to graduate from college, an increase from 44.5 percent over the previous year. In addition, the proportion of applicants from the state's most academically disadvantaged schools and from low-income families remained steady, at 24 percent and 39 percent respectively. These outcomes are consistent with the university's efforts to expand consideration for admission to a broad range of students.

Transfer applicants from California community colleges are down slightly, relative to 2012. This follows exceptionally large increases in transfer applicants between 2008 and 2011.

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

Source:  University of California Office of the President, California Department of Education.