Students on the promenade by RIMAC Arena on campus at UC San Diego. Photo courtesy of UCSD

UC San Diego will welcome its largest class ever this fall, with many of the new students coming from low-income households or becoming the first person in their family to attend a four-year college.

The university admitted 50,115 new students out of a record number of 121,151 applicants for the fall quarter, which begins Sept. 28. Freshmen make up about 76% of the cohort, with transfer students comprising the rest.

The majority of transfers are coming into the UC system from California community colleges, which comprised more than 90% of UCSD’s transfer students, the university said.

UCSD increased admission of low-income and first-generation students by nearly 10% this year, with 30% of freshmen admits and 50% of community college transfers being students who are the first in their family to go to a four-year college.

The campus also offered admission to 4,426 more California first-year students – and increase of 24.3% – and 663 additional transfers – up 7.5% –compared to fall 2019 numbers.

Among historically underrepresented first-year applicants from California, UCSD admitted 14.2% more Black, 29.1% more Native American and 4.1% more Chicano/Latino students.

For transfers from the state’s community colleges, the campus offered admissions to 17.7% more Black, 28.3% more Native American and 7.8% more Chicano/Latino students.

“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.”

UCSD has said it intends to offer a hybrid model of instruction when classes start in September, with a mix of in-person and remote courses.

Administrators are relying on the university’s Return to Learn adaptive testing program to guide the safe reopening of campus based on results of regular COVID-19 testing of students, faculty and staff. Masks are required everywhere on campus.

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