Freshmen Enrollment


By Claudia Luther

Published May 12, 2008 12:17 PM

A record 4,889 students representing a broad section of talents, interests and passions have indicated they intend to enroll at UCLA for fall 2008.

The intended freshmen are among 12,579 admitted to UCLA out of a record 55,397 applicants — more applicants than any other university in the country.

The percentage of underrepresented students — Native Americans, African Americans and Chicanos/Latinos — among those indicating their intent to register rose to 21.7% (1,024), up from 19.5% (871) last year. Of particular note, the number of African American students planning to enroll as freshmen increased to 233, or 4.9%; the total in 2007 was 210, or 4.7%.

In addition, the entering 2008 freshman class is academically outstanding: 84% have fully weighted grade-point averages of 4.0 or more. Previous freshman classes have also had high percentages of students with GPAs of 4.0 or better, ranging from 72% in 2004 to 79% in 2007.

Nearly one-third of the intended 2008 freshmen from the U.S. are the first in their families to attend college, and nearly a fourth are from low-income families — those with earnings of $44,000 a year or less.

"UCLA's 2008 freshman class exhibits the highest academic standards and leadership qualities while also displaying a wide range of diversity," UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block said in announcing the enrollment figures. Block praised the many supporters of UCLA — students, alumni and friends — who enthusiastically engaged in activities aimed at encouraging students to enroll.

Block noted that more than one out of two African American students admitted have chosen to attend UCLA, and the numbers of Latinos and Chicanos increased for the third consecutive year.

"In large part, this is due to the work of alumni, donors and community partners," he said.

Block added: "All the students who plan to be with us next fall are in the fine tradition of the campus in terms of intellectual potential and service to their communities and the world."

For the second year, Peter Taylor, a former University of California regent and former president of the UCLA Alumni Association, chaired the UCLA African American Student Enrollment Task Force, which led the effort to generate legacy scholarships for entering African American freshmen.

Starting with the 2007–08 freshman class, UCLA began using the "holistic" method of reviewing applications, in which applicants are assessed in terms of the full range of their academic and personal achievements, viewed in the context of the opportunities and challenges each has faced.

"We want to see what kinds of leadership roles, activities, and work and community experiences our potential students have," said Janina Montero, vice chancellor for student affairs. "These are the things that tell us how they will perform at a highly competitive university such as UCLA."

Montero praised students, alumni and staff from offices across the campus for their strong collaboration and the various activities they hosted on campus to enable all admitted students to get a firsthand look at the opportunities available at UCLA.

"Prospective students indicated that they felt truly welcomed," Montero said.

Preliminary figures also indicate that the fall freshman class will include 1,753 Asian Americans (37.1%), 1,596 whites/Caucasians (33.8%), 778 Chicanos/Latinos (16.5%) and 13 Native Americans (0.3%). Six percent (285) of the intended students declined to state their ethnicity or race, and 1.4% (65) identified themselves as "other."

Last year's figures were: 1,837 Asian Americans (41%), 1,481 whites/Caucasians (33.1%), 647 Chicanos/Latinos (14.5%) and 14 Native Americans (0.3%). Five percent (225) of last year's prospective freshmen declined to state their ethnicity or race, and 1.4% (64) identified themselves as "other."

The Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) is an interim step in the overall application, admission and enrollment cycle. An admitted student submits an SIR following admission to signal his or her intent to accept the provisional admission offer and enroll at UCLA. Students must also submit transcripts of their final-semester grades by July 15 for a final review. Final enrollment figures for the fall term typically are available in late October.

The University of California will release its system-wide enrollment figures in June.

NOTE: The preliminary data used reflect information about domestic students, except for the total numbers of applicants, admits and enrollees, which include international students. This year's figures are compared with official data from 2007. Enrollment numbers will change slightly, with final official data available in October 2008.