by Rachel Swan
Maybe it's the outreach campaigns, or the slight tweaks to UC Berkeley's basic eligibility requirements, acting associate vice chancellor Anne De Luca postulated. (This year, middle school foreign language and math courses now count toward an applicant's 11 requirements.) Whatever the case, the university saw a massive increase in freshman enrollment applications for the 2012-2013 school year, up 16.5 percent from 2011. That jump reflects a similarly dramatic system-wide increase of 19 percent — UCs Santa Cruz, Irvine, Los Angeles, Riverside, Merced, Santa Barbara, and San Diego all saw their freshman applications rise by double-digits, according to data from the office of the president. It appears that most of these prospective students are highly qualified, too, with a mean GPA of 3.6, and an average SAT 1 score of 1909, up three points from last year. That means a lot of worthy applicants might ultimately be steered into community colleges. Interestingly, the number of transfer student applications hasn't increased, UC brass say. Rather, it's declined by about 2 percent, which might indicate that the rising cost of a university education is deterring at least one portion of the student population.