UC Irvine Most Popular UC Campus Among California High School Students Applying to College
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member University California, Irvine has become the top choice in the UC system for California high school students. The university announced recently that the 70,540 soon-to-be graduates who applied to the campus for the upcoming fall semester were the most among the nine campuses in the University of California system.
“We have very robust outreach efforts,” campus spokesman Tom Vasich said.
That includes helping high school students realize they have the potential to attend college and helping them navigate the application process. The university has partnerships with high schools and community colleges in Santa Ana, Anaheim, Compton, and other communities to help build a bridge for the students to higher education, Vasich said.
The university also has been successful helping students find ways to pay for their education – which is cheaper than a private university, he said.
Along with being popular among the general high school population, UCI was a top choice for first-generation students and those from underrepresented minority groups and lower-income families, officials said.
Almost half of the applicants for the fall semester are first-generation students.
UCI was recently praised in a report by the American Talent Initiative on a national push to get more lower-income students into top colleges.
“The diversity of the applicant pool really reflects what Orange County actually is,” Vasich said. “It is an incredibly diverse place.”
This confidence vote from students and parents helps the campus when talking with philanthropic donors or applying for grants for research partnerships, said Michael Dennin, vice provost of teaching and learning.
“The same people who are sending their kids here are involved in all of that,” Dennin said.
And the students coming to UCI are often staying in the area after they graduate, creating a talent pool for Orange County businesses, he said.
“I think another thing that draws students here is Irvine and the surrounding community is known as a great place to live,” Dennin said.
UCI has been investing in on-campus housing – all first- and second-year students are guaranteed a place to live. More than 500 additional beds will be available in September, officials said.
So the university’s rising popularity hasn’t been a strain on the community.
In fact, Dennin said the campus has made it a priority to build closer ties with the Irvine community.
Overall applications to UCI have increased by 32 percent since 2015 – for this fall, UCI was third in applications behind UCLA and UC San Diego when transfer, out-of-state and international students are included. More than 117,000 applied to UCI, a campus record.
The university typically sends acceptance offers to 25 percent to 30 percent of applicants based on about how many officials expect will say yes. About 8,000 freshmen and 2,600 transfer students are expected to be enrolled in the fall.
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