The number of applicants the University of California has received this year has reached another record high — for the twelfth consecutive year.
In all, over 206,000 students have applied to one of the 9 campuses for admission next fall, 6.4% more than last year. Applications rose at all nine of the campuses, with UC Irvine increasing by 10% to reach close to 98,000 applications for 8,700 student and transfer spots. At the same time, UC Berkeley saw an increase of 5.8% and UC Merced, the newest campus within the system, saw the highest increase of all nine campuses at 13.5%.
According to UC officials, this is the first time that the total number of applications for all nine campuses has stretched beyond 200,000.
"The increase in applications from Californians will help us reach our goal of adding 5,000 more undergraduate residents this year and 10,000 over three years," UC president Jan Napolitano said in a statement.
Napolitano said, "In particular, our efforts to boost the number of applicants transferring from California's community colleges are paying off."
Officials for the school noted that transfer applications rose by 11.8% after an announcement from the university concerning a one-time deadline extension for applications, moving the final date they would be accepted from November 30 to January 4 in order to boost enrollment of students from California.
UC San Diego also announced an increase from last year with 102,678 freshman and transfer applications, coming in ahead of UC Berkeley for the first time in five years. The school came in second only to UCLA, which saw a 6% increase from last year with 119,326 applications.
The school also experienced an increase in diversity among its applicants. The campus had an increase of 9.6% for underrepresented students on the freshman level for fall 2016. Meanwhile, the largest gain was seen among Latino and Mexican-American applicants at 10.1%, closely followed by a 9.2% in African-American student applications.
Historically underrepresented students at the transfer level took a 24.6% jump at the campus, the largest increase seen among African-American students with 33.1%, followed by Native American students at 23.5%, and Latino and Mexican-American students at 22.7%, reports Gary Warth for The San Diego-Union Tribune.
The introduction of the Common Application has made it easier for students across the country to apply to multiple colleges, offering a streamlined process online that is accepted by over 600 universities nationwide.
While UC does have their own application, interested students have the ability to check off all nine campuses on the same form so long as their families are willing to pay an extra $70 fee per campus, unless a waiver is offered.
UCI spokeswoman Cathy Lawhon believes the growing interest in the system to be due to academics and overall successes, as a number of the campuses rank among the top in the country.
"It's a well thought of university system, and the costs have remained flat for another year. The UC is a good educational value," Lawhon said.