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UC freshman admission rate drops a bit; more than 10,000 wait-listed

April 14, 2010 | 10:50 am

California’s high school seniors faced slightly tougher odds to gain admission to the University of California this year and more than 10,700 of them were offered a spot, sometimes several, on the university’s new and controversial waiting lists, according to statistics released Wednesday.

Of the 82,056 California applicants to UC, 71.6% were offered freshman entrance to at least one of UC’s nine undergraduate campuses. That was down from 72.5% last year and 75.4% the year before, reflecting in part cutbacks in enrollment due to state budget reductions, the figures show.

Applicants to UCLA and UC Berkeley once again had the hardest time. UCLA accepted only 21% of in-state applicants, compared to 21.4% last year, and UC Berkeley admitted 24.5%, down from 29.5% last year. The next toughest were UC San Diego, 36.8%; UC Santa Barbara, 41.7%; UC Davis, 44.5%; UC Irvine 45.4%; UC Santa Cruz, 64.9%; UC Riverside, 77.4%; and UC Merced, 78%.

The report said that 10,712 applicants were offered a spot on at least one of the seven waiting lists, which are being used extensively by the university for the first time this year. (UCLA and UC Merced did not use them.) Those students, some of whom were accepted at other UCs, have until Thursday to say whether they want to remain on those lists and final decisions about their possible admission are expected next month.

Many students said they would have preferred an outright acceptance or rejection rather than be in limbo. And given that the odds of being offered enrollment from those lists are expected to be small, those students are being encouraged to send enrollment deposits to the UC campuses or other schools that have accepted them.

-- Larry Gordon