UCSD Admits the Highest Number of Applicants Systemwide


Photo of Library Walk from the second floor of Center Hall.
Mo Al Elew / The Triton

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UC San Diego admitted the highest number of applicants in the UC system in 2019, according to preliminary data on undergraduate admissions and applications released by the UC Office of the President (UCOP). UCSD continues to receive a record-breaking number of applicants, second in the nation to UCLA.

UCSD received 118,359 undergraduate applications for Fall 2019 admission. Of those applicants, 99,112 were incoming freshmen and 19,247 were transfer students. This is a continuing trend of increasing numbers of applicants and admits each year.

In March and April, UCSD sent out admission offers to 42,813 students in total. This marks the highest total number of admits within the UC system in 2019 and represents approximately 36.2% of the campus’ applicant pool.

“We are pleased that talented students from all backgrounds, especially those in our hometown, see UC San Diego as a first-choice destination,” said Adele C. Brumfield, Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management, in an email to The Triton

Asain American applicants remain the largest subset of admits at 38.5%. There were no significant changes in the racial and ethnic composition of accepted applicants.

The overall number of first-generation college students admitted decreased by three percentage points to 41%. A third of admitted freshmen and nearly half of transfer admitted would be the first in their family to attend college. 

Source: UC San Diego Chancellor’s Office

ASUCSD Associate Vice President (AVP) of Academic Affairs and former ASUCSD Senate candidate Adarsh Parthasarathy said in an email to The Triton that the admission statistics represent the university’s embrace of a large, diverse applicant pool, which has been pivotal to UCSD’s success as a public institution.

“[T]he fact that we [UCSD] have been able to target underserved communities without sacrificing our standards for admissions is a testament to the quality that these students will bring to the student body,” said AVP Parthasarathy. 

Yet, these same numbers inspired heated and at times toxic online debate earlier this summer. As admittance increased this past decade, campus housing guarantees have been cut and parking passes are now capped and limited by academic year. AVP Parthasarathy believes these changes reflect that enrollment has risen too quickly and suggested that it is an intentional decision by the administration to meet enrollment targets.

“[T]he administration’s plan [is] to accept this [increasing] number of students and not a consequence of bad estimation of our yield rate or melt, but deliberate intention to meet our enrollment targets,” said AVP Parthasarathy. 

Overall, the UC system received 217,650 undergraduate applications in total and accepted 136,930 applicants. Finalized numbers including changes due to waitlist acceptances, academic verifications, and reccensions are expected to be released publicly in December. 

Julianna Domingo is a contributing writer for The Triton.

Correction: This article was updated at 11:35 a.m. on September 30 to fix a spelling error. In the sentence: “ASUCSD Associate Vice President (AVP) of Academic Affairs and former ASUCSD Senate candidate Adarsh Parthasarathy said in an email to The Triton,” The Triton was spelled as The Trtion. We apologize for this error.

Correction: This article was updated at 12:20 p.m. on October 7 to fix a spelling error. In the sentence “AVP Parthasarathy believes these changes,” believe was spelled “belies.” We apologize for this error.