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Record 86,000 apply for undergraduate study at UC Davis

By Julia Ann Easley on January 12, 2016 in University

A record high of 86,041 prospective students have applied to study at the University of California, Davis, for fall 2016.

Freshman applications grew by 6.1 percent, or 3,937, to a total of 68,519, while transfer applications increased by 14.2 percent, or 2,174, for a total of 17,522. Both increases outpaced UC systemwide average increases.

“We are really pleased that UC Davis has attracted so many excellent applicants truly representative of our state and the world-class university we are,” said Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi.

The Davis applications show gains in academic measures. Among freshman applicants, the average grade point average increased from 3.76 last fall to 3.77, and the average SAT increased from 1818 to 1825. The average GPA for transfer applicants increased from 3.31 last fall to 3.32.

California residents

About 80 percent of freshman applicants are California residents, and more than 81 percent of transfer applicants are from California community colleges.

The number of applications grew by 4.5 percent among California residents, 14.4 percent among out-of-state students and 18.6 percent among international students.

Historically underserved groups

The numbers of applicants from historically underserved groups — African American, American Indian and Chicano/Latino — increased, and they now represent 35.1 percent of California freshman applicants and 32.2 percent of domestic transfer applicants from California Community Colleges.

In October, the university opened the Center for African Diaspora Student Success as a hub for its African American recruitment and retention initiatives. The campus is also developing initiatives for Chicano and Latino students, including a center opening next fall. In the spring, it plans to hire a director of Native American retention initiatives who will help develop a plan for that population.

Income, first-generation graduates

Walter Robinson, associate vice chancellor for enrollment management, said the applicants for 2016 also reflect the university’s draw as the second among top U.S. colleges doing the most for low-income students, according to the New York Times “College Access Index” in 2015.

Measurements of how the university provides opportunity and access continue to improve. Among California freshman applicants:

  • more than two in five would be in the first generation of their family to earn a four-year college degree;
  • more than one in three are from families with low incomes; and
  • more than one in five are from low-resource high schools, where UC Davis continues to build a college-going culture. 

Offers made in March, April

Admission notifications will be released for all freshman applicants on March 11 and for transfer applicants on April 22.

In fall 2015, UC Davis enrolled 5,385 new freshmen and 2,971 new transfer students. Total enrollment was 36,104.

Media contact(s)

Julia Ann Easley, News and Media Relations, UC Davis, 530-752-8248, mobile 530-219-4545,