- Associated Press - Thursday, December 14, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Students are applying to the University of California system in record numbers for the 13th straight year, according to preliminary data released Thursday.

Nearly 222,000 prospective undergraduates applied for at least one UC school for fall 2018 during the application period that ended Nov. 30, according to figures released by the university system. They include about 181,000 applications to become freshmen and about 40,000 to become transfer students.

Those numbers represent an increase of 5.7 percent from last year’s stack of applications - which totaled about 206,000.

“We are thrilled by yet another record-shattering year of applications from freshman and transfer students who want to attend UC,” UC President Janet Napolitano said in a written statement.

The total is bound to grow, as three schools in the system are accepting transfer applications until Jan. 8.

The biggest growth in applicants came for UC Riverside, a school with traditionally lower demand than most in the system, with a 12.4 percent increase over last year.

Campuses generally start notifying applicants in March whether or not they made the cut.

The number of in-state freshmen admitted last year dropped 1.7 percentage points. A state audit found the UC system lowered its admission standards for out-of-state students, who generally pay higher fees to attend.

Prompted by public frustration from lawmakers who control the state budget, the UC regents who oversee the system voted to cap the percentage of out-of-state and overseas students at each campus to 18 percent for the first time in the system’s nearly 150-year history.

The constant annual growth in would-be students is good news for the UC system, which has seen some upheaval amid recent scrutiny over sexual misconduct that began before the recent surge of allegations in entertainment, politics and elsewhere.

Criticism over lenient punishment of senior faculty and administration at its top-rated school, UC Berkeley, led to resignations there.

Documents the UC released in March in response to public records requests showed it had investigated 113 cases involving faculty and staff over a three-year period that included allegations ranging from inappropriate conduct to sexual assault.

In response, Napolitano has moved to strengthen campus procedures for investigating and disciplining faulty members in sexual misconduct cases.


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