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UCLA explores options to increase in-state student enrollment

UCLA is considering measures to increase campus enrollment in accordance with a systemwide goal of adding 20,000 seats. (Sakshi Joglekar/Assistant Photo editor)

By Alexandra Kaiser

April 17, 2022 10:19 p.m.

UCLA is considering significant measures to enroll more in-state students, such as expanding course offerings and opening a satellite campus.

Chancellor Gene Block announced new university initiatives in the winter to fulfill the University of California’s goal of adding an additional 20,000 enrollment spots across its 10 campuses by 2030.

The initiatives followed an increase in the number of applications to the university. This year, the university received more than 168,000 applications – more than double the number received in 2012, when there were 72,697 applications.

[Related: UCLA receives record-breaking number of applications for 2nd consecutive year]

There is more demand for enrollment spaces than available supply, said Sarah Wang, the Undergraduate Students Association Council external vice president.

The university is exploring several options for increasing enrollment, Block said.

One idea is to increase four-year graduation rates, which would allow the university to enroll more students in incoming classes, Block said.

Another way to accomplish this would be to increase the number of summer classes so students have more opportunities to complete their graduation requirements, Block added.

“When students graduate on time, it frees up space so the campus can add more undergraduates without necessarily increasing overall enrollment,” said UCLA spokesperson Ricardo Vazquez in an emailed statement.

The university will also look to increase the number of seats available in courses, Vazquez added.

As the UC system’s smallest campus in terms of area, the university needs to pursue options that will not put more pressure on an already stressed campus, Block said.

“The university definitely has to consider its ability to expand and still provide a quality education,” said Wang, a third-year communication student.

More significant changes are also being considered, such as utilizing online classes and opening a satellite campus, Block’s update said.

The announcement of UCLA’s ideas coincides with UC Berkeley’s legal battle surrounding plans to increase enrollment on its campus.

In March, the California Supreme Court ruled to freeze UC Berkeley’s admissions at 2020-2021 levels, which would eliminate more than 3,000 enrollment spots. However, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law March 14 to invalidate the ruling.

To offset the local environmental impact of increased enrollment, UC Berkeley will significantly increase its payments to the city, said UC Berkeley spokesperson Janet Gilmore in an emailed statement.

UC Berkeley’s legal battle has shown the need for UCLA to consult surrounding neighborhoods on plans to increase enrollment, Wang said.

Since the plan to increase enrollment is still at its beginning stages, interest groups will be consulted as more decisions are made, Vazquez said.

“While we do not yet have specific details as to how the growth will be achieved at UCLA, or the number of students the campus will add, we plan to consult with all appropriate constituents once the expansion plan begins to take shape,” Vazquez said.

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