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UC Merced Admissions for California Freshmen, Underrepresented Students and Transfers on the Rise

July 20, 2021

Following an unprecedented year the University of California announced that its campuses made record-breaking admissions offers to the fall 2021 incoming class.

On top of a record number of transfer applications this year, UC Merced's transfer student admission has risen to 3,087, a 48.4% increase from the 2,080 students accepted in 2020.

The campus’ number of native Californian first-year students has also increased by 22,444 students, an increase of 9.8% over the 20,849 from 2020. Students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups comprise 57% of admitted California first-year students.

The UC also noted that UC Merced had the highest percentage of first-generation resident freshmen admissions (59%) with a total of 13,136.

Several factors may explain the rise in admissions. Campuses made efforts to admit as many qualified California students as space could allow, given the expanded pool of highly eligible, hardworking students this year. The end of UC’s standardized testing requirement may have also encouraged more students to apply.

Additionally, in recognition of the many challenges COVID-19 posed for prospective students and their families, the university made temporary adjustments to admission requirements, including suspending the letter-grade requirement for high school classes taken in the winter, spring, or summer terms of 2020 and the entire 2020–21 academic year. The UC also provided flexibility for students who needed more time to meet registration, deposit and transcript deadlines last year, which they hoped would further support students who faced barriers during a challenging year marked by canceled classes and schools that switched to pass/fail grading.

The data is subject to change as the campus verifies the conditions of admission are met.

Data tables with campus-specific information for both freshmen and transfer students are available here.