Admitted to the University of California: Breakdown of Incoming Students

In a press release recently issued by the Office of the President of the University of California, Janet Napolitano noted some interesting facts about who is admitted to the UC system, who isn’t, and why it’s hard for some students to be admitted.

If you’re first gen, take note of UC’s admit rate

1.  The University of California offered admission to a record number of applicants to its nine undergraduate campuses this past year. In all, 108,178 students were offered admission to the UC schools for the 2019-2020 academic year. These students—admitted to Cal, UCLA, UCSD, UCSF, UCSB, UC Irvine, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, and UC Riverside–were accepted from among 176,695 applicants.

2.  Of those 108,178 admitted, 28,752 were transfer students, drawn from a pool of 41,282 applicants. This year’s pool included the largest number of California community college students in UC admissions history.

3.  According to the president, the number of admission offers to students from underrepresented groups increased by 991, elevating that proportion to 40 percent of all admitted California first-year students, up from 38 percent last year.

4.  First-generation students comprise 44 percent (30,856) of all resident first-year (“freshman”) students accepted.

5.  Low-income students comprise 40 percent (26,913) of all resident first-year (“freshman”) students admitted.

6.  The composition of first-year (“freshman”) class is similar to that of last year, although Chicano/Latino students increased slightly as a proportion of admitted students from 33 percent to 34 percent. Asian-American students remained the largest non-dominant ethnic group of admitted students at 35 percent. The proportion of white students stayed flat at 22 percent, as did the proportion of African-American students (5 percent) and the proportion of American Indian students (0.5 percent).

Click below if you'd like advice on how to maximize your chances of getting into a UC school:

What does this all add up to? Just this: Given the UC system’s unprecedented number of applicants, if your dream school is a UC school, you need to show the university admission officers not just how you excel, but how you stand out from all the other excellently qualified applicants.


Want help getting into the UC system? Call me! I’m always ready to help you.

Dr. Osborn works with students from all over the world to help them reach their independent, college, and graduate school goals. Through a personal, one-on-one approach, Dr. Osborn creates an individualized plan for each student based on the student’s strengths, passions, and career aspirations. Her holistic approach helps students perform well in school and secure admission to top colleges.  

About The Author

Susan Osborn, Ph.D., has spent 30 years in higher education, in admissions at Vassar College, in the English department and Writing Program at Rutgers University, in the lab at The New Jersey Center for Research on Writing, and as a private tutor. Dr. Osborn is also an award-winning writer and scholar and she brings both her education smarts and her writing smarts to every student relationship.