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Press Release

New fall 2003 freshman class from among record number of applicants

– University of California, Berkeley, officials announced today that 8,679 students from across California and elsewhere have been admitted to the fall 2003 freshman class.

The students were selected from a record 36,920 applicants, underscoring the fact that demand for a place in the UC Berkeley freshman class is greater than ever.

Choosing from an applicant pool of such academically talented and driven high school seniors wasn't easy, according to Pamela Burnett, director of undergraduate admissions for UC Berkeley, but the results are impressive.

"This is our strongest admitted class ever," said Burnett. "In addition to the impressive quantifiable academic characteristics, these students show an astonishing mix of interests, talents and achievements."

Burnett said the admitted class includes school board members, film producers, academic decathlon champions, entrepreneurs, nationally-performing slam poets, founders of gay-straight alliance groups, conservatory-trained artists and presidents of their local Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement programs (MESA).

Many of the newly admitted students are fluent in multiple languages. The group also includes founders of diversity and ambassador programs and students who have researched environmental racism, language theory, soybeans and ferro-fluid hardware designs.

University officials are now awaiting word from these students that they intend to enroll. UC Berkeley is aiming for a fall 2003 enrollment target of 3,755 new freshmen, roughly the same target as last fall.

Additional data released today about the fall 2003 freshman class include the following:

  • California residents make up 87.7 percent of the class, up slightly from 87.6 percent for fall 2002. Newly admitted California students represent every county in the state except Alpine.

  • The admit rate for California residents declined slightly, to 25.3 percent, for fall 2003, compared to 25.8 percent for fall 2002. The overall fall 2003 admit rate, including for California residents, out-of-state students, and international students, rose slightly, to 23.5 percent from 23.3 percent, in fall 2002.

  • Chicano/Latino students represent 12.2 percent of the fall 2003 admitted class, up from 12.1 percent for fall 2002. African American students represent 3.5 percent of the class, down from 3.7 percent; American Indian students represent 0.6 percent, up from 0.5 percent last year; Asian American students make up 40 percent of the group, up from 39.9 percent last year; and white students comprise 32.9 percent, down from 33.9 percent last year. Students who identified themselves as "other" or did not provide information comprise 10.8 percent of the class, up from 9.9 percent last year.

  • Women represent 56.3 percent of the class, up from 55.6 percent the previous fall.

  • International students make up 2.6 percent of the class, up from 2.1 percent in fall 2002; and out-of-state students make up 9.6 percent, down from 10.2 percent the previous year.

All data included here and listed on the accompanying charts represent preliminary statistics available as of March 27. Unless indicated otherwise, the data includes all students, domestic and international.

Students are evaluated based on a combination of factors including grades, test scores, coursework, how the students handled challenges and opportunities, and indicators of personal characteristics including leadership, motivation and persistence.

Admission decisions were posted on a campus website and mailed to students on Thursday, March 27. Students have until May 1 to sign letters of intent indicating their plans to enroll at UC Berkeley.

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