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Sunday, March 3, 2024

UC Davis welcomes most competitive class to date

Approximately 5,150 freshmen are expected to attend UC Davis this Fall Quarter, hitting just above the enrollment target of 5,100 set by UC Davis Undergraduate Admissions.

Of this pool, the incoming class boasts an average SAT score of 1796 and an average weighted grade-point average (GPA) of 3.99, according to Walter Robinson, executive director of Undergraduate Admissions at UC Davis.

“I took seven AP courses and had a solid ACT score and everything was above the average and I was actually waitlisted. And I knew a bunch of really qualified people that did not get in,” said Katie Murry, a first-year biology major.

The incoming class holds an estimated admittance rate of 39 percent. This is a six percent drop from the 45 percent admit rate of last year’s incoming class and nine percent lower than the 48 percent admit rate from two years ago. According to Robinson, dropping admit rates aren’t expected to stop over upcoming years.

“I believe we are continually going to be more selective as we will generate more applications. We probably won’t be altering many more freshman spaces. There is some growth that’s protected that might keep a little stability in the admit rate. But I think still by some fraction, it will continue to drop,” Robinson said.

According to Robinson, the lower admit rate means UC Davis is becoming more competitive. However, he claims the withstanding reason is the number of applications the admission office received the previous year.

“I feel as though getting accepted into UC Davis seemed harder this year because of the number of people I know with high GPAs who did not gain admittance,” said Sonya Vyas, a first-year chemistry major.

California residents make up 85 percent of the incoming class, while out-of-state students make up four percent and international students make up 11 percent.

A common rumor is UC Davis favors out-of-state and international students over California residents.

“If someone were to ask me about the whole idea of bringing in more non-resident students, I would respond first by saying global diversity is a value added to the educational experience of all undergraduate students,” Robinson said.

Along with being a source of global diversity, according to Robinson, non-resident students also provide an additional revenue stream to support all students at UC Davis.

“There was a time when we received a tremendously larger allocation of funds from the state to support California students,” Robinson said. “The only way we can stabilize, and perhaps even grow the number of undergraduate enrollment at UC Davis is by having new sources of revenue.”

Of the incoming first-years, three percent identify as African American, one percent identify as American Indian, 21 percent identify as Chicano/Latino, 42 percent identify as Asian and 31 percent identify as white, leaving two percent of students who did not provide a racial report.

“I feel that it’s highly devastating that there’s only three percent African American students. I feel like there should be more effort from both students and administration to outreach,” said Ndidi Okwelogu, Black Student Union President.

“I feel we’re underrepresented and I wish it could be a bigger community. We all have something to offer to make it a bigger community,” said Da’shon Carr, President of Leaders of Tomorrow, on the percentage of African American students enrolled in the class of 2017.

“Latinos/Hispanics are the largest minority group in the US and in California, for that reason the percentage of Latinos enrolled in the class of 2017 at Davis can be seen as either an accomplishment or disappointment. Ultimately, the 21% of Latino freshman students enrolled this year at Davis shows an increase within the past years and even though it should be higher, any increase should always be seen as an accomplishment.  If 1/5 of our incoming freshmen are Latinos, it is now our duty as their fellow Aggies to show them support and help them as they begin their college career,” said Angela Munoz, co-chair of Hermanas Unidas de UC Davis.

While the enrollment target for this year’s incoming class exceeded the 2020 Initiative, UC Davis expects to increase the undergraduate population over the next seven years.

The 2020 Initiative is a new campus plan to admit 5,000 students, primarily international, in the next 17 years. The plan also includes hiring 300 additional faculty members and further expansion to campus infrastructure.

JASON PHAM  can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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