The UC system will experience aggressive enrollment growth in fall 2006 if admissions numbers issued by the UC Office of the President are any indication.
UC Irvine may also experience significant growth. According to the UCOP, UC Irvine admitted 22,913 incoming freshman for fall 2006, nearly a 10 percent increase from the fall 2005 admissions.
Asian-American students reached a significant milestone this year. Although Asian-Americans have constituted a majority of admitted students at UCI in the past, Asian-American students surpassed white students statewide as the most-admitted group.
‘UCI was among the campuses showing growth in applicants for fall 2006,’ said Marguerite Bonous-Hammarth, director of admissions and relations with schools at UCI. Bonous-Hammarth indicated that 2006 experienced some dynamic enrollment trends.
UCI’s high admissions emphasize the growth of the university, a growth that specifically looks to increase student diversity and academic excellence.
Fall 2006 applicants are broken into numerous groups. Asian-American groups, who were the plurality, represent a ‘larger percentage [of students] than those from other cohorts applying to a UC,’ Bonous-Hammarth said.
Asian-Americans applied at higher numbers to UCI, thereby increasing their enrollment by 14 percent from last year.
The number of female applicants and admissions also increased substantially from previous years, representing a growing trend of female enrollment in the UC.
Although in 2004, minority enrollment decreased, current trends indicate higher minority applicants and enrollment.
According to the UCOP data for fall 2006 admissions, underrepresented minorities applied in higher numbers with higher admission rates than last year. Minority admission increased from 16.3 percent for fall 2005 to 20.4 percent for fall 2006.
For fall 2006, African-Americans, American Indians and Chicanos comprise 21.7 percent of those students admitted to the UC. That is an increase from last year’s 20.6 percent.
The break down of racial and ethnic groups includes a 0.2 percent increase for African-Americans, a 1.4 percent increase for Asian-Americans, a 0.7 percent increase for Latinos, and a 2.1 percent decrease for Caucasians.
UCI, a relatively young research institution compared to other universities, plans on improving rankings and status to become a flagship UC campus like UCLA and UC Berkeley. Such a ranking not only will attract prospective students, but will improve funding to the university and the overall quality of research at UCI.
The increase in enrollment has been a concern for some students who believe that increased UCI enrollment will decrease the quality of education for current students.
‘I worry that increased enrollment at UCI will affect current students negatively,’ said Huma Siddiqui, a third-year biology major. ‘More students might mean less funding and more crowdedness. I like the idea of having fewer students at the university.’
Other students believe increased and diversified UCI admissions are a great step toward the growth and achievement for the university.
‘I think it’s fantastic,’ said a second-year English major who desired to remain anonymous. ‘The fact that more students want to come to UCI shows that this school has a lot to offer. It should mean additional grants for stuff like research and financial aid since the school is becoming more known.’
According to Bonous-Hammarth and the UC Office of the President, there was no change in the review criteria for fall 2006 applicants.