Top grad students choosing Berkeley

UC Berkeley is becoming more attractive to the nation's best graduate students, including its top minority students, according to recent tallies.

Among the 1,000 graduate students awarded National Science Foundation Fellowships this year, 125 indicated UC Berkeley as their first-choice institution. This was the highest number for any university in the country, and the largest number ever for UC Berkeley.

Twenty-two of these students were recipients of NSF's 150 minority fellowships, also the highest number for any institution.

The highly competitive NSF Fellowships are a good indicator of program quality because they are "portable" fellowships-they go wherever the student decides to go. They are awarded to graduating seniors or first-year graduate students and provide $15,000 per year for three years, plus fees and tuition of the public or private university they choose.

While 125 students listed UC Berkeley as their first choice institution (12.5 percent of the total), 112 listed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 106 listed Stanford University, and 69 listed Harvard University. Between 1993 and 1996, MIT was the most popular graduate institution for NSF Fellowships.

This year UC Berkeley received 24,540 applications for graduate study (including the School of Law), of which 5,345 were admitted. About 2,500 graduate students have registered.

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