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UCLA sees drop in freshman, but increase in transfer applications

UCLA freshman applications dropped by 2.2% for fall 2020, the second consecutive year that applications have decreased, according to preliminary applications data from the University of California. (Daily Bruin file photo)

By Bernard Mendez

Feb. 7, 2020 12:06 am

UCLA saw a drop in freshman applicants for the second year in a row, according to University of California data released Tuesday.

Freshman applications for fall 2020 dropped 2.2%, from 111,266 to 108,837, following a 2.1% decrease for fall 2019.

The biggest drop came from in-state freshman applications, which decreased 2.4% by 1,681. International student applications had the largest percentage drop, seeing a 4% decrease in applications. UCLA received a negligible seven fewer out-of-state applications.

However, UCLA still received 1,842 more transfer applications, which also rose for fall 2019.

UCLA was one of five UC campuses that had a decrease in freshman applications, including UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz and UC Merced. UCLA had the second largest decrease out of all UC campuses, trailing only UC Santa Barbara, which saw a 2.7% decrease.

Freshman applications also dropped UC-wide, according to the data.

Despite the decline, UCLA received the most freshman applications of any UC, followed by UC San Diego and UC Irvine. Nearly two-thirds of all UC applicants applied to UCLA.

UC spokesperson Stett Holbrook said in an emailed statement that it’s hard to pinpoint what is driving the dip in applications. He said it could be caused by a declining number of California high school graduates over the last two years. However, this number is predicted to increase next year.

Holbrook added the option of tuition-free community college may be leading more students to attend community college and transfer to UCs after two years. This may explain the increase in transfer applications, he said.

Students may also be applying to fewer colleges in general, Holbrook said.

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Bernard Mendez | News editor
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