UC enrollment soars, Cal State tumbles as COVID-19 upends college application season

The coronavirus pandemic has led to a good news, bad news college application season, as the University of California drew a record number of applicants for fall 2021 while California State University tumbled — a disparity reflected nationally by robust growth at many selective institutions and struggles at less resourced ones.

Applications to UC’s nine undergraduate campuses soared to a record 250,000 — a 15% increase over last year, including significant rises among California Latino and Black freshmen applicants, according to preliminary data disclosed by UC President Michael V. Drake in a meeting this week with The Times editorial board. Campus-specific data will not be released until early next year.

“For all the challenges and all of the noise about is [college] worth it, we see more people looking to the University of California as a pathway to their future than ever before,” Drake said.

At Cal State, however, applications declined by 5% with wide variation among the system’s 23 campuses. Cal State Dominguez Hills, which primarily serves disadvantaged students, saw a 17% plunge in applications. But they increased by 4% at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, the most selective campus with fewer students who are underrepresented minorities, low income or the first in their families to attend college.

Read the full story at LATimes.com.

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