UCLA tougher admission than UC Berkeley for California students

Call it the battle of the bears – and the bragging rights as the hardest-to-enter University of California campus for in-state residents.

In this case, the UCLA Bruins edged out UC Berkeley’s Golden Bears, with only 17.7% of in-state students who applied to attend the Southern California university were admitted in fall 2012, making it the toughest in the nine-school system. Berkeley was almost as difficult, with 22.7% of in-state students who applied being admitted, according to the latest figures from the UC President’s Office.

University of California is among the most exclusive campuses in the University of California system.
University of California is among the most exclusive campuses in the University of California system.

However, Berkeley was a slightly tougher overall, including the all-important international and out-of-state students, a much-bigger focus for the financially strapped UC system (please see related story by clicking here).

Only 21.1% of students who applied to Berkeley were accepted, just a bit tougher than the 21.3% admission rate at UCLA. Berkeley only admitted 12.4% of international applicants and 22.6% of out-of-state students, significantly more stringent than UCLA at 32.0% and 28.8%, respectively. However, UCLA, as mentioned above, was much tougher on in-state applicants.

Overall, 63.5% of applicants – in-state, out-of-state and international students – were accepted into the UC system, but with only UC Merced exceeding, and skewing, the average. Basically, three of every four students who applied were admitted to UC Merced, greatly affecting the average.

UC San Diego was the third-most exclusive school for in-state students and overall, at 32.1% and 37.7%, respectively.

Here are the admission rates and how many students overall were accepted in fall 2012 (please note, just because students are accepted does not ensure they will attend the campus):

— UC Berkeley: 21.1%; 13,038 admitted
— UC Davis: 45.6%; 22,538 admitted
— UC Irvine: 36.3%; 19,806 admitted
— UC Los Angeles: 21.3%; 15,455 admitted
— UC Merced: 75.1%; 9,874 admitted
— UC Riverside: 61.5%; 18,375 admitted
— UC San Diego: 37.7%; 22,939 admitted
— UC Santa Barbara: 43.4%; 23,803 admitted
— UC Santa Cruz: 60.5%: 19,936 admitted
— UC system wide: 63.5%; 80,289 admitted


International students 10.6% of admissions to UC schools

Admission to the University of California system is a bit more difficult for residents than just a year ago, as the nine-campus system allows more out-of-state and international students in order to improve the bottom line.

About two of every three in-state applicants – or 65.8% — were admitted to the UC system in fall 2012, compared to 69.7% a year ago and 71.6% in fall 2010, according to the UC system. In-state students who once were more concerned about competing only with fellow Californians are now facing the reality that out-of-state and international students are taking the much-coveted spots.

The budget-strapped UC system admitted 80,289 students last fall, 7,857 more than fall 2011, according to the latest report. But almost three of every four of the additional students – or 73% — were from other states or another country.

In fact, the number of international students increased last fall to 8,537, more than double the 3,616 foreign students in fall 2010. International students now make up 10.6% of admissions in the UC system vs. 5.3% two years ago.

The main entrance at University of California, Santa Barbara.
The main entrance at University of California, Santa Barbara.

And out-of-state students accounted for 12.8% of admissions – or 10,309 – last fall, compared to 8.7% in fall 2010.

So, how many additional in-state students did the UC system accept? A paltry 2,155 more students, less than the boost in international and out-of-state students.

Other facts from the semi-annual report:

— UC Santa Barbara had the most new admissions last fall, with 23,803 students.
— UC Merced had the fewest fall admissions, with 9,874.
— UC San Diego had the most out-of-state and international admissions with 3,822 and 3,603, respectively,
— UC Merced, a still-developing campus, had the lowest number of out-of-state and international admissions with 109 and 214, respectively.