More Apps, Less Space

Around mid-January of this year, the numbers on applicants to UC Irvine for the fall quarter of 2013 were released, and, in keeping with the trend, set a record. The number of applicants for fall quarter 2012 was around 70,000 and this year the number rose by about 9 percent to over 76,000. The statistics could have predicted this rise, but it’s unlikely that students currently attending UCI could have predicted it, or better yet, were even aware of just how big the numbers of applicants were to their humble OC university.
It is a possibility that UCI is receiving much more applicants recently in comparison to past years because the university has made great improvements to its academia, athletics, and other aspects of campus. However, it seems more probable that UCI is simply becoming better known by prospective college students; UCI is not becoming more “popular,” but instead is now beginning to receive some well-deserved name recognition.
UCI is becoming what some like to refer to as “a household name,” just as UCLA and UC Berkley have been for quite some time. And, it is truly wonderful that prospective college students are recognizing and choosing to take the first step to taking advantage of all that UCI has to offer by applying here.
Unfortunately, a higher number of applicants tends to lead to a pretty large number of admitted applicants. Over the past few years the UCI admission rate has been around 42 to 45 percent, now obviously these numbers do not equate to half of the over 70,000 applicants being admitted, but they are pretty close. This means that the average number of applicants being admitted to UCI each year is somewhere between 21,000 and 24,000.
A high number of admitted applicants is, of course, great for the applicants, and is also a positive for the university itself. Those who are affected negatively by such a high number of admitted applicants are the current students of UCI.
UCI is a large campus, and does not appear to suffer too much, if at all, from overcrowding in classrooms and lecture halls, currently. Yet, the acceptance of so many applicants has the potential to change that.
Pinning the possibility of overcrowding in the coming years on high admission rates solely is not fair though. Although the ideal number of years that one is to spend here is four, there is a good amount of students who end up staying a couple extra quarters or even an entire year.
It is very common that you have had at least one class in one of the larger lecture halls (capacity 200 to 400 persons), which means that you have had to deal with trying to get to class early in order to get your preferred seat and/or save seats for others. But that’s not too bad, right? It’s not. What is truly a cause for frustration and annoyance though, is when it comes time to take the midterm and final and you are forced to take your test in discomfort; discomfort stemming from the fact that all of you are sitting so closely to one another that you can hardly erase your paper without bumping your neighbor or even get up to turn in your test without disrupting the entire row.
Imagine if every class was like that. Every class! True, it is not too likely that we will all have those horrible circumstances permanently thrust upon us while we are here at UCI. Nonetheless, hearing of such a high number of applicants to UCI for next year makes one wonder and worry just a bit.
It’s nice to hear that more and more prospective college students are considering UCI, it really is. Let’s just hope that Admissions always keeps in mind that there are many students already attending UCI and that we do not deserve to deal with any overcrowding on top of the ridiculous amount of money we pay to attend school here.

Amanda V. Ramirez is a second-year anthropology major. She can be reached at amandavr@uci.edu.