For the fifth year in a row, UCR has continued to break it’s enrollment record. Since 2016, the campus has seen a constant increase in undergraduate and graduate student enrollment. As of 2021, a total of 26,847 students are enrolled at UCR; that’s a 1.6% increase from 2020 when there were 26,434 students enrolled.
Of the student population, UCR is also recognized as being one of the more diverse UCs. Latino students make up 41% of the student population, and Asian students make up 35.1%.
UCR’s expansion of its departments, like engineering and medicine, have also attracted students to the campus. The Bourns College of Engineering has increased its number of undergraduate and graduate students to 4,495, whereas three years ago, their enrollment was about 3,400.
While UCR saw an enrollment increase, the UC campuses together did not reach a new enrollment record for the first time in eight years.
According to UC Provost Valerio Ferme, enrollment totaled 46,710 students — down 88 students from last year — as of census day on Sept. 7. The decrease in student enrollment is considered to be due to the COVID vaccine requirement for students to return to campus. Before census day, more than 100 students dropped out.
Ferme also expressed that the universities managed to increase their number of international and out-of-state students, a group that had decreased in 2020 due to the pandemic. The current UC student body is also the most diverse in university history, with nearly a quarter of students across all campuses being students of color.
As a result of COVID-19, many students struggled applying to universities this year due to low grades or inability to pay for application fees. To help students, UCR suspended “the letter-grade requirement for high school classes taken in winter, spring or summer terms of 2020 and the full 2020–21 academic year.” The UC system as a whole was also more lenient in allowing students more time to complete their deposits and turn in their transcripts.
From the 9 UC undergraduate campuses, UCR admitted the most California residents to its first-year class with 29,004 students.
The downside to the increasing student population is the continuing housing shortage crisis and inability for students to enroll in necessary courses. Having more students in the areas surrounding the UCs has caused housing availability to decrease as prices increase.
This year, UCR opened a new on-campus housing complex, The North District, yet many students still faced the inability to find housing. Students looking for on-campus housing were put on waiting lists only to remain on them as the fall quarter draws to an end.
With the winter quarter for UCR being 95% in-person classes, students must now find housing closer to campus.