UC Berkeley News
Press Release

UC Berkeley Press Release

 Chancellor Robert Birgeneau relaxes with a few members of the Class of 2009 following Freshman Convocation in Memorial Glade Chancellor Robert Birgeneau relaxes with students following New Student Convocation at Memorial Glade. (Steve McConnell/UC Berkeley NewsCenter)

Fall 2005 back-to-school highlights

– Students arriving at the University of California, Berkeley, for the fall 2005 semester will find new housing, one-of-a-kind classes, expanded student services and an effort aimed at making students better neighbors.

 The Things They Carried:
Flash slide show about which possessions the Class of 2009 can't imagine living without.
Classes begin next Monday, Aug. 29, but many students are already on campus for Welcome Week, which began Monday. More than 100 departments are offering at least 200 workshops, orientations, tours and receptions to help students make the transition to campus life.

UC Berkeley expects to have 33,050 students enrolled this fall, including 4,030 entering freshman, 1,981 new transfer students and 2,750 new graduate students.

"This is the first entering class that I have the privilege of welcoming to Berkeley. They've come right from high school ready to engage, they're comfortable in speaking with me and quick to ask substantive questions. I am terrifically impressed with their enthusiasm and with their positive outlook," said Chancellor Robert Birgeneau.

New Cal Parents website

Services, information, events, and person-to-person help for parents of UC Berkeley students.
Also new this year is a task force, appointed by Chancellor Birgeneau, which aims to improve student-neighbor relations in the neighborhoods closest to campus. The task force of students, campus and city officials, police and nearby residents is using a personal approach with social interaction as its aim to make neighborhoods near UC Berkeley welcoming and enjoyable for all. (Read more about the task force here.)

Student housing on campus has greatly expanded since last fall, with 850 beds in four new residence halls added since January. With the additional space, UC Berkeley now offers a two-year housing guarantee to all entering freshmen.

Also new is a faculty residence program, in which a professor lives and works in one of the residence halls; new courses about everything from the Manhattan Project to the meaning of life to designing products for people with autism; expanded hours and services at the student health center; and Cal Prep, a new K-12 charter school in Oakland being run by UC Berkeley and Aspire Public Schools.

Meet the incoming students

Campus officials estimate that about 23,150 new and continuing undergraduates will register this fall, along with 9,900 new and continuing graduate students. Final registration numbers will be available later in the semester.

New freshmen

An estimated 4,030 freshmen are expected to register this fall, about 350 more than last year. UC Berkeley is able to admit and enroll more students because budget cuts imposed in 2004-05 were partially restored for 2005-06.

The ethnic breakdown for the class of new freshmen is projected to be approximately 47 percent Asian American, 31 percent white, 11 percent Chicano/Latino, 7 percent who declined to state their ethnicity, 3 percent African American, 1 percent "other," and 0.4 percent American Indian.

Estimates show that women will represent 55 percent of the freshman class, the same as last fall.

 Wisdom of the sages
Graduates of the class of 2005 share what they wished they had known back when they were wet-behind-the-ears freshmen.
By several measures, the new freshman class is academically outstanding. Compared with the fall 2004 freshman class, these freshmen scored at or higher on standardized tests, in grade point averages and in the number of honors courses taken.

Overall, 88 percent of the new freshmen come from public high schools. Twenty-nine percent are first-generation college students. The percentage of underrepresented minority students who are entering freshmen will be 14 percent of the class, up from 13 percent last year.

Geographically, approximately 36 percent of the California freshmen are from the San Francisco Bay Area, 15 percent from other Northern California areas, 27 percent from Los Angeles County and 23 percent from other Southern California areas.

New transfer students

The number of new transfer students, most of them from California community colleges, is estimated at 1,980, up by 245 from fall 2004. This increase is due to a modest, planned increase in transfer enrollment by the University of California system.

The new transfer group's ethnic breakdown is expected to be about 41 percent white, 32 percent Asian American, 12 percent Chicano/Latino, 9 percent who declined to state their ethnicity, 3.5 percent African American, 0.7 percent American Indian and 2 percent "other."

New graduate students

Campus officials are expecting approximately 2,750 new graduate students to enroll in fall 2005, compared to 2,735 last fall. Women are expected to comprise 49 percent of the new entering class, up 2 percent from last year.

These new students come from every state in the country except Montana. Fifty-two percent are from California, 31 percent from other parts of the United States and 17 percent from foreign countries.

Enrollment for new graduate students who are international students will be about 450 this fall, compared with 420 in fall 2004.

Rising student fees

Fees for undergraduate and graduate students went up again this year. Undergraduates who are California residents will pay $7,434 in fees this year. Overall, the estimated budget for two semesters for California undergraduates living in residence halls, including educational fees, mandatory health insurance fees, room and board, books and supplies, personal expenses and transportation is now estimated at $23,232, or $1,694 more than last year.

Following is a breakdown of student costs for fall '05 compared with a year ago:

Student costs
Room and board
Books and supplies
*Beyond that included in campus meal plan
**Includes $922 student health insurance

Graduate students in most master's and Ph.D. programs will pay about 13 percent more in fees this year than last. California residents will pay $8,430 per year. Graduate students in the professional schools also face additional fees this year. The UC Board of Regents approved the new fees in July to offset the loss of $42 million in state funds for the professional schools. For example, law students who are California residents will pay $24,341 in fees; nonresidents will pay $36,586 a year. MBA students who are California residents this year will pay $24,325; nonresidents pay $35,856 a year.

More student housing available

Two new residence halls are open this fall - Barbara Christian and William B. Slottman residence halls, accommodating 450 students. Earlier this year, Katherine A. Towle Residence Hall and the Yoritada Wada Apartments opened, adding 400 beds.

Over the last three years, the campus has added room for more than 1,100 students.

Expanded student health services

University Health Services has expanded services and hours as a result of UC Berkeley students voting for a new student health fee last spring. The additional money has allowed the health service to extend urgent care and pharmacy hours to 6 p.m., open the pharmacy on Saturdays and increase the number of counselors and clinicians so they can take more same-day appointments and expand counseling services. (For more information, see the UHS website.)

Tien Center, East Asian Library under construction

Students will discover new construction in the Memorial Glade area, as the campus improves access for disabled students and prepares a site nearby for construction of the C.V. Starr East Asian Library.

Several ongoing seismic retrofit projects are underway in campus buildings, including Le Conte Hall. And students will be able to enjoy the recently re-opened North Reading Room of Doe Library, which was closed last year for repairs and restoration.

But the Bancroft Library in the Doe Library Annex is closed this fall, as it undergoes a $64 million seismic retrofit and related improvements. Part of the collection is being temporarily housed at 2121 Allston Way, a block west of campus, and will be available in October.

More information