eSlug Fall 2015

Michael McCawley (right) talks with a family at a recent UCSC Admissions event. Photo by Dani Milner.

Michael McCawley (right) talks with a family at a UCSC Admissions event. Photo by Dani Milner.

Fall is always a hectic time in the world of admissions, but also a very rewarding time. In September, we welcomed the new undergraduates to fall 2015, but we were also back on the road visiting schools as our fall 2016 recruitment cycle kicked into high gear. We had a very successful Preview Day last month, with hundreds of prospective students and their families visiting our campus to determine if UCSC would be a good fit for them. Which brings us to November, when students interested in enrolling for fall 2016 need to submit their applications – where does the time go?!? Before I look too far ahead, let me recap those we welcomed for fall 2015.

Our fall quarter officially began on September 19, with classes beginning later that week. Our snapshot in late September showed we had enrolled 3,609 new first-year students and 1,154 new junior-level transfer students. If you’re wondering how that compared to the previous fall, we reduced our frosh by nearly 450 and increased our transfers by nearly one hundred – both of which were part of our enrollment plan for fall 2015.

First-generation frosh made up nearly 43% of our entering first-year students, while just over 45% of our entering transfer students were considered first generation. UC defines “first generation” as students where neither parent has earned a four-year degree. We’re very proud of these outcomes as they reflect our commitment to access and opportunity for a UC Santa Cruz degree.

We’re also pleased with the ethnic diversity of our incoming undergraduates. At the transfer level, nearly 33% of our students were from underrepresented ethnicities, and at the frosh level, nearly 31%. Students who indicated their ethnicity to be American Indian/Alaskan Native, African American/Black, and/or Chicano/Chicana/Latino/Latina are considered “underrepresented” by the university. We will continue to strive for greater ethnic diversity, but these numbers are a good start, and I’d like to give a shout out to the UCSC students and alums that helped us in achieving these outcomes.

The geographic diversity of our new undergraduates was also impressive. Approximately 85% of our frosh were from California, with nearly every county in the state represented. The remaining 15% were from other states and other countries, helping us to build our global student body. With our transfer students, about 97% come from California, nearly all of whom transfer from a CA community college. I’m so happy to see at least one student from over 100 community colleges comprise our incoming juniors.

We recognize that all our successes, both frosh and transfer, come from our work with individuals like you and other counselors and student supporters, so on behalf of our entire team, I thank you for your role in helping to shape our fall 2015 incoming class – we couldn’t have done it without you!

Now we look forward to the incoming class for fall 2016, and as I stated previously, we are well underway with our fall outreach efforts. We saw many of you in California at this year’s Counselor Conferences, which had record attendance, and we have been visiting community colleges and high schools as much as possible. We try and reach all regions of our state so that we can continue to achieve geographic diversity with our in-state students. We also are continuing our efforts in other states and other countries, seeking the geographic and cultural diversity that will bring to our campus. As many of you know, our goal is to ensure that UCSC students are well-prepared to compete in a global society once they graduate, so having students from different states and different countries is a plus for our California students, and vice versa.

Once the November filing period closes on the 30th, we go into our “seclusion” mode; in other words, we’ll be hunkered down reviewing applications for fall 2016. I’m anticipating an increased number of applications from both frosh and transfers, and as is always the case, we’re committed to providing a thorough and thoughtful review of every application we receive. While we do get requests for school visits during December through March, we’re unable to attend given that all of our staff are involved in the review of frosh and transfer applications. I appreciate your understanding during that time.

Lastly, let me wish you all a very happy and peaceful holiday season. I hope you take the time to celebrate your accomplishments in 2015 and recognize those things in your life for which you are thankful. Part of my celebration includes the recognition of the talented individuals that make up UCSC’s Office of Admissions, and how thankful I am for them. So on behalf of that exceptional team, happy holidays to you and yours!