The UC has received a record number of applicants for the 2015-2016 school year, with the UC receiving 5.8 percent more, and UCR receiving 9.8 percent more applications than last year.
A breakdown of UCR’s applicants reveals a high degree of diversity — just over half of the 47,699 applicants come from families with incomes less than $45,000 per year, and 58 percent would be the first in their families to attend college. In addition, Latinos and Asian Americans make up 77.3 percent of applicants.
First-year neuroscience major Jasper Kuo thinks the rise in applicants could be good for UCR. “Sociologically it’s better for the surrounding community,” he said. He believes that “the more selective a college is, the higher ranked it will be since it has to pick better students.”
According to Director of Financial Aid Jose Aguilar, the jump in applicants will probably not affect the number of students receiving aid “as we already serve a high number of needy students,” he said, citing the 87 percent of undergraduates at UCR who received aid in the 2014-15 school year. Aguilar also noted that although applications have increased, enrollment will remain roughly the same.
Other UCs also saw a rise in applications, but UC Merced and UC Santa Cruz were the only two campuses to exceed Riverside’s jump in applicants, with respective increases of 14.1 percent and 11 percent. UCR had the highest increase of transfer applicants, with a 7.9 percent rise from last year.
These increases reflect an overall upward trend of university enrollment. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 41 percent of all people aged 18 to 24 in the U.S. now attend college, up from 26 percent in 1980.
Different ethnic groups nationwide have also increased their overall university attendance. In 1989, approximately 16 percent of Latinos, 21 percent of African Americans, 32 percent of whites and 46 percent of Asian Americans attended college, whereas now those numbers hover near 37 percent, 36 percent, 42 percent and 60 percent, respectively.
UC President Janet Napolitano is pleased about what this year’s influx means for the UC. “This early look at the numbers serves as a strong indication that students and their families continue to place a high value on a UC education,” she said. “We are honored by their vote of confidence,” she said in a press release.