July 26, 2019

UC report: UCR sends largest number of acceptance letters to California freshmen within UC system

The campus also issued the most welcome letters to African American, first-generation, low-income, and a percentage of community college transfers

Author: Sandra Baltazar Martínez
July 26, 2019

UC Riverside offered admission — for a third consecutive year — to the largest number of California freshmen within the University of California system.

UCR also sent the most acceptance letters for fall 2019 to African American, first-generation, low-income, and community college transfer students from three underrepresented groups. 

A report released this week by the University of California highlights fall admit numbers for the past three years, placing UCR at the top and contributing to UC’s all-time record number of admission offers for the 2019-20 academic year, including the highest numbers of freshmen and transfer students, respectively, in UC’s history. 


Raw numbers indicate UCR’s total California 2019 freshman admission numbers reached an all-time high during this time period, with 24,059 admits out of 43,117 California applicants, an increase of more than 1,844 over last year. In total, UCR’s 2019 freshman admission offers reached 27,886. These students were selected out of a total pool of more than 49,200 applicants. 

A closer look into the document’s three-year reporting period, 2017-19, indicates UCR had the largest continuous increase of California Community College transfer admissions of underrepresented students: African American, American Indian, and Chicano/Latino. For fall 2019, these acceptances summed over 3,200 — more than any other UC campus. In total, UCR accepted more than 8,100 California community college students and more than 8,500 total transfers.  


During the same three-year period, UCR offered a spot to over 1,000 African American freshman applicants each of those years, setting UCR above the other UCs.

For fall 2019, UCR sent admission letters to more than 15,600 first-generation students and to more than 14,400 low-income applicants, setting a systemwide record during this three-year time frame, the report shows.

These numbers are not coincidental, said Emily Engelschall, director of UCR’s Undergraduate Admissions. 

UCR’s leadership and Undergraduate Admissions have been intentional and deliberate about working with high schools and community colleges throughout the state, Engelschall said.

Part of Undergraduate Admissions’ plan has included hiring three temporary employees during the fall to reach the community college population. The admission’s team travels to numerous high school and community college fairs. They also set up one-on-one appointments to meet future transfer students and Engelschall’s office has established partnerships with organizations that work directly with underrepresented communities. Additionally, UCR offers an annual conference where community college counselors receive comprehensive information regarding admissions and UCR’s undergraduate experience, among other details, she added. 

“When you look at these numbers, an important part of UCR’s story is that we admitted the most California freshmen than any other UC campus,” Engelschall said. “This demonstrates UCR’s commitment to the residents of the state.”  

Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox, who champions UCR’s diversity, visits high schools, community colleges, and spends time meeting teachers, parents and chatting with students. UC’s report reflects UCR’s commitment to expanding access and increasing student success, Wilcox said. 

“Our students represent the best of what our nation has to offer in terms of academic excellence, diversity, and resilience,” Wilcox said. “With guidance and mentorship from UCR’s outstanding faculty and staff, our students will be prepared to tackle the world’s greatest challenges and to become stewards of transformation, in their own right.”

At the UC level

The University of California admitted 108,178 freshmen out of a pool of 176,695 students, including a record number of Californians (71,655). UC also accepted 28,752 transfers from a pool of 41,282 students, including the largest-ever class from the California Community Colleges (26,700). 

The freshman admission rate for California residents jumped 3 percentage points to 62%, while the admit rate for California Community College transfers remained at 76%.

“Yet another year of record-setting admissions underscores the tremendous interest in the world-class education at UC,” said UC President Janet Napolitano. “The best and the brightest young minds continue to make UC their university of choice, and I am pleased to welcome all of these remarkable students this year.”

UC expects to enroll an additional 2,500 California undergraduates for 2019-20, on top of the more than 14,000 additional California students the university has added over the past three years. 

The number of admission offers to students from underrepresented groups increased by 991, elevating that proportion to 40% of all admitted California freshmen from 38% last year. First-generation students comprise 44% (30,856) of all resident freshmen accepted, while low-income students comprise 40% (26,913). 

The composition of the freshman class is similar to that of last year. Chicano/Latino students increased slightly as a proportion of admitted students from 33% to 34%, while Asian American students remained the largest ethnic group of admitted students at 35%. The proportion of white students stayed flat at 22%. The proportion of African American students also stayed flat at 5%, while American Indian students remained at 0.5%.

Admission of California Community College transfer students grew slightly to 26,700 students from 26,582 in fall 2018, in keeping with UC’s goal of enrolling one new California transfer student for every two new California freshmen. 

To see the information summary and data sets for fall 2019 admissions: www.ucop.edu.

UC student data sets, fall 2019: www.ucop.edu.

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