New freshman and transfer cohorts are also among university’s most ethnically diverse
By Ricardo Vazquez | UCLA Newsroom
UCLA has offered fall 2021 admission to more than 15,000 high school seniors and 5,300 transfer applicants who together represent the most academically accomplished class in the campus’s history.
The university saw robust growth in the racial, ethnic and socioeconomic diversity of its admitted freshman and transfer classes this year, with a significant jump in the number of students from groups that have been historically underrepresented on campus.
Among admitted U.S. freshman, the number of African American students increased by 21% over last year, from approximately 750 to more than 900, while the number of Chicano/Latino students grew by 7%, from approximately 2,430 to over 2,600. The number of admitted Pacific Islander freshman students more than doubled, and American Indian freshman admissions rose by 28%.
Asian American and white prospective freshmen accounted for 41% and 27% of U.S. admissions, respectively.
Taken together, students from historically underrepresented groups make up 34% of all admitted California-resident freshmen — the highest proportion at UCLA in over 30 years.
“We are delighted by the broad diversity of our admitted freshman class, and we are deeply impressed by their outstanding achievements, especially in the face of the challenges and hardships brought on by the pandemic,” said Youlonda Copeland-Morgan, UCLA’s vice provost for enrollment management. “Our outreach and recruitment partnerships with underserved high schools and community-based organizations have borne fruit. In addition, the removal of standardized testing encouraged many more high-achieving students from underrepresented backgrounds to apply to UCLA.”
Academically, the credentials of the admitted fall 2021 freshman class exceed those of any previous class, as measured by unweighted and weighted GPA and the number of completed honors, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and University of California–required A-G courses.
This year also saw a healthy jump in the socioeconomic diversity of prospective freshmen from California, with admissions of first-generation students increasing from 28% to 32% and admissions of those from low-income families rising from 32% to 36%.
Driven in part by UCLA’s and UC’s partnership with the California community college system, admissions of transfer students from groups that have been historically underrepresented on campus also increased. This year, African Americans accounted for 7% of admitted U.S. transfer students, up from to 6% in 2020, while Chicano/Latino U.S. transfer admissions rose from 26% to 28%. The proportion of American Indian transfer students remained steady at 1% of the total.
Underrepresented students make up 35% of all admitted U.S. transfers, compared with 33% last year. As with the newly admitted freshman class, this is the highest percentage at UCLA in more than three decades.
As a proportion of total admitted U.S. transfer students, Asian Americans remained at 31%, the same level as 2020, and white students declined slightly, from 33% to 32%.
The socioeconomic diversity of California community college transfer students continues to be strong, with 54% coming from low-income backgrounds and 48% indicating they would be the first in their families to earn a four-year college degree.
In addition, the academic performance of this year’s admitted transfer class, as measured by GPA, outpaced all previous UCLA transfer classes.
“Our transfer students bring to UCLA a broad range of perspectives and experiences that contribute to the quality and richness of the campus undergraduate experience,” said Gary Clark, director of UCLA Undergraduate Admission. “They also bring unique educational journeys. Whether they have attended one or multiple community colleges or have been on that collegiate journey for two or 20 years, they have prepared themselves to thrive here, and we are delighted to welcome them to UCLA.”
Tables with admissions statistics and data for all nine UC undergraduate campuses and the UC system are available from the University of California Office of the President. (Note: Information in this release on the racial and ethnic makeup of UCLA’s admitted freshman and transfer classes is for all U.S. admitted students. The UC tables apply only to California residents.)