by Kathleen Scalise
New students from all ethnic backgrounds admitted to Berkeley for the fall have accepted in unusually large numbers. The 1996-97 freshman class will increase a projected 10 percent above the enrollment target and gives campus cause for celebration over minority recruitment.
"I am pleased by this new evidence of Berkeley's increasing attractiveness to students," said The Vice Chancellor and Provost Carol T. Christ. "We will be adding sections to our fall freshman offerings to ensure that students will be able to take the courses they need."
As of June 27, 3,921 freshmen had accepted Berkeley's offer to enroll for the semester beginning Aug. 20, up from 3,549 students this time last year. While the total number of applications jumped by approximately 10 percent this year, the number of students offered admission was up only slightly over last year. However, many more students who were offered a place accepted.
The new numbers reflect more students from every ethnic background choosing to enroll.
Latinos showed the greatest rate of increase in the acceptance rate--11.1 percent over last year. Other increases were seen by Asian-Americans at 4.8 percent, African-Americans at 4 percent and Chicanos at 3.3 percent. White students accepted at a 1.3 percent higher rate and American Indians at 0.5 percent.
The increase is spread widely across majors, with the biggest jump in the College of Chemistry, followed by Letters and Science.
Acceptance numbers for transfer students are also up from last year. Patrick Hayashi, associate vice chancellor for admissions and enrollment, said the incoming class is good news for the campus.
"The large enrollment is really an indication Berkeley is the place Californians want to go," he said. "More students are applying and more students whom we admit are deciding to come."