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UC Merced Reports Consecutive Rise in Applicant Numbers for Fall  

February 24, 2022

The University of California announced today (Feb. 24) that its campuses received a record-breaking number of applications for fall 2022. 

For the second year, UC Merced saw an increase of applicants, with 26,043 first-year students looking to become part of the Bobcat community, up from last year’s 25,458. Another 4,004 college students applied to transfer into the university this fall — 3,664 from California community colleges — for a total of more than 30,000 applicants for admission.

“Our growing attractiveness to young scholars is a reflection of our commitment to student success,” Chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz said. “As the youngest university in the UC system, we pride ourselves on our innovative approach to providing world-class teaching and research opportunities that help our students thrive.”  

UC Merced also received the highest percentage of applicants from underrepresented minority groups in the UC system, at 55% of all prospective students. And 86% of applicants are California residents — also the highest in the system.

Systemwide, first-year applications jumped by 7,140 over 2021, rising by 3.5% to an all-time high of 210,840 for this fall from 203,700 in fall 2021. California first-year applications saw impressive gains with 3.3% growth over 2021 and 16.8% growth from fall 2020.  

“The University of California remains an institution of choice for so many hardworking prospective undergraduates,” said President Michael V. Drake, M.D. “This diverse group of students has shown its commitment to pursuing higher education and we are thrilled these students want to join us at UC.” 

The University also saw an increase in the socioeconomic diversity of its California applicant pool for fall. Systemwide, the proportion of California freshman applicants and California Community College (CCC) transfer applicants from low-income families grew to 46% and 56% respectively for the 2022 application period.  

Community college enrollment declined nationally for fall 2021 due to the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic. This trend was especially true for California Community Colleges (CCCs) where enrollment declined by roughly 15% for fall 2020. That dramatic drop decreased the available pipeline of students applying to transfer to UC from CCCs for this fall. Systemwide, transfer applications decreased 12.6% from last year to 40,339, and applications from domestic CCC students decreased by 13%, to 30,936, this year.  

UC’s dedicated outreach efforts to California high schools contributed to a surge in applications from California freshmen in underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, and in applications from low-income students.

Chicano/Latino students comprised the largest ethnic group of the pool of California freshman applicants (38.1%) for the third year in a row, a 4.1% increase over the past year. Similarly,

Chicano/Latino students comprised the largest ethnic group of the pool of California Community College (CCC) applicants (31.8%) for the fifth year in a row. In addition, important gains were made in systemwide freshman applications for fall 2022 from American Indian students (32.8% increase over the past year), African American students (2.8% over the past year) and Asian American students (5.8% over the past year).

Additional details about the fall 2022 applicants to the University can be found here, along with preliminary campus-by-campus breakdowns.