Santa Cruz Good Times

Oct 09th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

New Slugs

blog slug reportSLUG REPORT > UC Santa Cruz gears up to welcome diverse freshman class following record-breaking application figures

For every few dozen incoming students who attended UC Santa Cruz’s freshman orientation last week, there was a “yellow-shirt” clamoring to organize them.

“Yellow-shirts,” more commonly known as orientation leaders, are nothing new at UCSC’s summer orientation week, but after a record-breaking 40,622 applications this past fall (an applicant increase of more than 17 percent since last year, second only to UC Los Angeles), these student workers were working with an evolving demographic.

UCSC will be welcoming a more diverse demographic of students this fall, due to increases in student admission of under-represented ethnicities, students who are the first in their families to attend college (called “first generation students”), graduates from lower-performing high schools, and students from low-income families.

Although more than 90 percent of applicants came from California, the school has also experienced a strong increase in out-of-state and international students, and admitted a small percentage more.

UCSC currently aims for designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) by the U.S. Department of Education. They will qualify once the UCSC academic body reaches 25 percent Chicano/Latino composition. The distinction will also grant additional funding.

Of the 28.5 percent of Latinos/Chicanos admitted this year (up 7.7 percent from 2010), the school “won’t know the actual enrollment until October,” Director of Admissions Michael McCawley says.

UCSC has recently re-invigorated their outreach with state schools, and experienced some success as a result.

“We're very pleased with the students that have indicated their intent to enroll here in the fall,” McCawley says. UCSC transitioned from a grade-point system to one of “holistic-review” in 2011, which places more emphasis on an applicant’s overall ability to succeed in college than academic statistics once did.

The school’s outreach programs start young, with some direct partnerships with primary schools, and continue to up through high school graduation. These programs are meant to serve both as a reminder to prospective applicants of what could be within their reach, as well as a stepping-stone to get them there. For many who will be enrolling this fall, these outreach programs meant just that.

Admitting many of these students will necessitate enhanced collaboration between on-campus resources such as Engaging Education, the Academic Resource Center, academic counselors and student business services.

Last year, of the more than 45 percent of students who are considered first-generation, the mean income of their families was 60 percent lower than that of non-first generation student families.

It’s a big bill to foot, but for an increasing number of applicants, the trade-off for a UCSC education is worth it, says McCawley.

“I think [incoming] students know UCSC students are actively engaged students,” McCawley says, “and they want to experience that for themselves.”

UCSC is anticipating approximately 5,000 new enrollments for fall, keeping the class size fairly consistent with past years.

PHOTO: UC Santa Cruz orientation leaders at freshman orientation. Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Hot in Here

This ain’t no Burning Man—the MAH’s GLOW festival flames on


Mercury Direct in Libra, Columbus Day, Libra New Moon

Mercury completes its retrograde Friday, poised stationary direct Friday evening at zero degrees Libra. Mercury begins its journey through Libra once again, completing its retrograde shadow Oct. 12. Things should be a bit less complicated by then. Daily life works better, plans move forward, large purchases can be made, and communication eases. Everything on hold during the retrograde is slowly released. Since we eliminated all thoughts and ideas no longer needed (the purpose of Mercury’s retrograde) during the retrograde, we can now gather new information—until the next retrograde occurs on Jan. 5, 2016 (1.3 degrees Aquarius), retrograding back to 15 degrees Capricorn on Jan. 25. It’s good to know beforehand when Mercury will retrograde next—Jan. 5, the day before Epiphany. On Monday is Columbus Day, when the sailor from Genoa arrived in the new lands (Americas), Oct. 12, 1492. This discovery by Columbus was the first encounter of Europeans with Native Americans. Other names for this day are “Discovery Day, Day of the Americas, Cultural Diversity Day, Indigenous People’s Day, and Dia de la Raza.” Italian communities especially celebrate this day. Oct. 12 is also Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Monday is also the (19 degrees) Libra new moon festival. Libra’s keynote while building the personality is, “Let choice be made.” Libra is the sign of making life choices. Often under great tension of opposing forces seeking harmony and balance. There is a battle between our lower (personality) and higher selves (soul). We are tested and called to cultivate right judgment and love. When we align with the will-to-good, right choice, then right judgment and love/wisdom come forth. Our tasks in Libra. 


The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program


Film, Times & Events: Week of October 9

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


Seoul Food

Santa Cruz’s new Sesame Korean is a great introduction to an ancient culinary tradition


Is there evil in the world?

Yes, some people don’t think right because they have been treated badly. Milo Robbins, Scotts Valley, Second Grade


Dos Aguilas Olive Oil

Aptos company is letting locals pick their own olives in October


What’s your biggest pet peeve?

When people say they’re “going down” somewhere, and they’re actually traveling north. Julia Ragen, Santa Cruz, Psychologist