Walking backward, tour guide Brie-Anna Rojas, center with back to camera, leads potential incoming freshmen and others during a walking tour of the campus at UC Davis in Davis on Monday, April 14, 2008. The University of California announced Monday that freshman acceptances rose notably throughout the system this year. Randall Benton Sacramento Bee Staff Photo
Walking backward, tour guide Brie-Anna Rojas, center with back to camera, leads potential incoming freshmen and others during a walking tour of the campus at UC Davis in Davis on Monday, April 14, 2008. The University of California announced Monday that freshman acceptances rose notably throughout the system this year. Randall Benton Sacramento Bee Staff Photo

Education

UC Davis sets another record for freshman applicants with nearly 10 percent jump

By Ellen Garrison

egarrison@sacbee.com

December 14, 2017 04:48 PM

As UC Davis looks to increase its undergraduate enrollment, students continue to apply in record numbers.

Freshman applications to UC Davis jumped by nearly 10 percent this year to 77,727 students, the UC system announced Thursday. Combined with transfer applicants, a record 95,207 applied to enroll next school year at Davis.

Admissions staff sent more counselors this spring to schools with large numbers of students who would become the first in their families to go to college, said Executive Director of Undergraduate Admissions Ebony Lewis.

About 41 percent of freshman applicants would be part of the first generation in their family to graduate from a four-year college.

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As for transfers, Lewis said UC Davis worked more closely with north state community colleges this year. Transfer applications to UC Davis dropped in fall 2016, only to spring back up this year.

“We focused a lot on the colleges who are up north, like Shasta College,” she said, trying to expand opportunity for students “that are farther away from our UC campuses.”

UC Davis freshman applications rose by 9.6 percent for fall 2018, higher than the 5.7 percent systemwide increase.

Undergraduate applications to the UC system have climbed year-over-year for 13 years, according to a press release calling 2017 the “13th straight year of record-breaking highs.” More than 221,000 students applied to University of California schools this year, a 5.7 percent jump over fall 2016. About 18 percent of those were transfer students.

UC Davis last year admitted 30,945 freshman applicants and 9,636 transfer students as the school continues to expand its undergraduate enrollment. Of those, nearly 10,000 new students confirmed their intent to register for fall 2017.

In 2013, UC Davis launched the 2020 Initiative, a plan to add 5,000 new undergraduates by 2020.

There are concerns in the Davis community about the growth of the university. Low vacancy rates in Davis’ rental market have led to fear that increasing enrollment numbers will increase prices in the already expensive market or force students and low-income residents into surrounding communities.

The tightening market led the Davis City Council to send the university a letter in late 2016 requesting additional student housing be included in the university’s long-range development plan.

UC Davis ended up calling for additional on-campus housing for 6,200 students by 2027. At least one group, the local chapter of the Sierra Club, remains concerned about the housing plan, according to an op-ed published in the Davis Vanguard.

Lewis said UC Davis is committed to making sure there is enough class and housing space for students.

“I would say it’s always on the minds of people,” she said.

Ellen Garrison: 916-321-1920, @EllenGarrison