UC releases 2011 admissions data

Campus admits fewer in-state residents due to budget issues

Photo: Recently admitted students from across the world visited the UC Berkeley campus for Cal Day this past Senior Weekend.
Tony Zhou/Staff
Recently admitted students from across the world visited the UC Berkeley campus for Cal Day this past Senior Weekend.

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UC Berkeley admitted nearly 18 percent fewer California residents to its freshman class for the 2011-12 academic year than in the past two years, while out-of-state and international student admissions have steadily increased - a change campus officials attribute to the current financial crisis and an effort to increase diversity on campus.

According to data released Monday by the UC Office of the President, 52,953 freshman students applied to UC Berkeley this year and 13,523 freshmen were admitted. In total, 609 more freshmen were admitted for next year.

But the data also showed that since 2009, there has been a 17.6 percent reduction in the number of California residents admitted to UC Berkeley, while the numbers of out-of-state and international students admitted to the UC Berkeley freshman class have increased by 13.7 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively.

According to the data, 9,303 of the freshmen admitted to UC Berkeley for fall 2011 are California residents - 156 fewer than last year, and 1,881 fewer than 2009.

A Monday press release from the campus stated that a decrease in the number of California residents and an increase in the number of out-of-state and international students was a result of a need to provide funding to the campus during difficult economic times as well as to broaden the diversity of the campus population.

"We're not willfully decreasing California students," said Walter Robinson, campus assistant vice chancellor and director of undergraduate admissions. "The state is paying well below what the campus admitted, and we're covering the difference. But, we happen to be in a position to be able to mitigate against the entire cut the state has brought in by bringing in out-of-state and international students who also pay a portion of California residents' tuition. It slows the bleeding, if you will."

A waitlist, which the campus first implemented last year, currently holds about 200 spots, and according to Robinson, some of those students have already been admitted. Last year, the campus did not admit any waitlisted students.

In addition to the number of increased out-of-state and international students, the report also showed an increase in Asian American and Latino freshman students admitted to UC Berkeley and a decrease in American Indian, Caucasian, Pacific Islander and black students.

"With all these budget cuts, it's hard to maintain diversity from California," said senior Annelisa Luong, campus organizing coordinator for REACH!, an Asian or Pacific Island Recruitment and Retention Center. "But I do feel like there has been more international students here. I see a lot more folks who are not as fluent in English or who are clearly not from here."

Robinson said, however, that the reduction in California resident admissions would hopefully be re-examined, as UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau has devised a five-year plan with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to try to cap the number of out-of-state and international students at 20 percent should state funding not be an issue, leaving the remaining 80 percent of admission spots open to California residents.

"(Campus officials) were disappointed and upset by the decreasing of California resident admissions - there is no way anyone can be happy with having to take these measures to make things work against the reduction of state funds," Robinson said. "But national and global diversity is value added to the education of experience and we are in the business of preparing future leaders."


Katie Nelson is the lead academics and administration reporter. Contact her at [email protected]

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