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UC San Diego Increases Access to Californians and Underrepresented Students

Campus admits largest class of 50,115 students for fall 2020

Credit: Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego


  • Christine Clark

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  • Christine Clark

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For the fall 2020 quarter beginning Sept. 28, the University of California San Diego has offered admission to more California residents and underrepresented students, including students from low-income households and those who will be the first in their family to attend a four-year college, compared to previous years. Out of a record number of 121,151 applicants, the campus admitted its largest cohort of 50,115 students, comprised of 38,305 freshmen and 11,810 transfers.

The campus offered admission to 4,426 more California first-year students (up 24.3%) and 663 additional transfers (up 7.5%) this year, compared to fall 2019 numbers. The vast majority of transfers were admitted from California Community Colleges, which make up more than 90% of UC San Diego’s transfer students.

UC San Diego continues to be a standout for increasing access to low-income and first-generation students. More than 30% of UC San Diego California freshman admits are the first in their family to attend a four-year college and an astounding 50% of the CA community colleges transfer admitted class are also first-generation, representing an overall increase of nearly 10% over last year.

“As a public university, it is our responsibility to offer an accessible and affordable education to all of California’s residents,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Our goal is for our student body to reflect the demographics of the state. To achieve this, we recruit talented students and actively support those who may be low-income, first-generation, or who come from underrepresented communities. We do this because we know that diverse perspectives and inclusive collaboration lead to creative ideas that drive innovation. At UC San Diego, all of our students benefit tremendously from a diverse, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-racial, and multi-lingual population that interacts, learns and grows together.”

Among historically underrepresented first-year applicants from California, the campus admitted 14.2% more African-Americans, 29.1% more Native Americans and 4.1% more Chicano/Latino students. For transfers from California Community Colleges, the campus offered admissions to 17.7% more African-Americans, 28.3% more Native American and 7.8% more Chicano/Latino students.

Final enrollment figures of admitted students who accepted their offers are expected to be available by mid-October, after the census is complete for all University of California campuses.

Today, in the midst of a global pandemic, universities across the nation are making critical decisions for the coming academic year. UC San Diego intends to offer a hybrid model of instruction in fall 2020—a mixture of in-person and remote courses. The university’s plans for fall will be influenced by its innovative Return to Learn program. Centered around adaptive testing, Return to Learn positions UC San Diego as a nationwide leader in defining comprehensive and regular asymptomatic testing of studentsand regular testing of infrastructureas a strategy to reopen the campus.

The program incorporates elements of risk mitigation, viral monitoring and public health intervention to detect outbreaks early and reduce the risk of transmission. Please visit the Return to Learn website for more information.

For more information about admissions at UC San Diego, please visit

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