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Press Release

UC Berkeley Press Release

Campus releases freshman admission data

– University of California, Berkeley, officials today (Monday, April 14) announced that they have offered admission to 12,616 high school students for the 2008-2009 school year, following an exceptionally competitive admissions cycle propelled by a marked increase in applications.

Of those offered admission, 10,388 were admitted to the fall 2008 term that begins in late August and another 2,228 to the spring 2009 semester that starts in January.

UC Berkeley, reflecting a national trend, received a record number of applications for the fall 2008 term, driven largely by the crest in Tidal Wave II, the children of baby boomers graduating from high school in record numbers.

The increase in applications also reflects the outreach work of UC Berkeley campus staff, faculty and students who encourage top students from all of California's communities to apply to the campus, and it reflects the enduring demand for a UC Berkeley education, according to Walter Robinson, director of undergraduate admissions.

More than 48,400 students applied for admission to the fall 2008 class, up almost 10 percent from the approximately 44,100 who applied for admission to the fall 2007 class.

The admissions rate - the number of students offered admission compared to the number who applied - for the fall 2008 term was 21.5 percent, down from 23.2 percent for fall 2007. UC Berkeley offered admission to 175 more students than last year, but because of the increase in applications from all groups including California residents, out-of-state students and international students, the admissions rate dropped.

"I am very excited about this year's admitted class, which is among the most selective in Cal's history," said UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau. "This is a student body which is admirably diverse in all senses, including their backgrounds and their accomplishments."

Analysis of the 2008-09 admissions data reflects the following:

  • The fall 2008 freshman admitted class remains as strong as that of the previous year's admitted class. The students have an average total SAT I score of 2034, up from 2029 for fall 2007; their average GPA (on a 4.0 scale) is 3.87, the same as last year.
  • The admitted class for fall 2008 also excels beyond academics. It includes a world champion in youth division sailing, a student who wrote a symphony during high school, a back-up dancer for a pop star on a U.S. concert tour, a national chess tournament champion, an international Irish dance competition winner, several Olympic and Junior Olympic medalists and a set of quadruplets.
  • Women comprise 55 percent of the fall 2008 admitted class, the same percentage as last year. Percentage-wise, the racial and ethnic diversity of the fall 2008 admitted class is comparable to that of last year's class.
  • International students applied to UC Berkeley in greater numbers - approximately 26 percent more than the year before - and more were offered admission to the fall 2008 class, increasing from 253 offers in fall 2007 to 704 for fall 2008. This increase in admission offers reflects an effort to increase the presence of international students on campus to provide a richer experience for all students.

Students are evaluated for admission to UC Berkeley based on a combination of factors including grades, coursework, test scores, how they have handled challenges and opportunities, and indicators of personal characteristics including leadership, motivation and persistence.

All students apply to UC Berkeley for fall admission. Since 1984, however, UC Berkeley has offered spring admission to some students because additional spaces open up that semester. These additional spaces become available due to the graduation of some seniors at the end of the fall semester.

Students were notified of their admission on March 27 and have until May 1 to return their statements of intent to register. Admissions officials are aiming for a final fall 2008 enrollment of 4,300 students, including internationals students, approximately the same target fall enrollment as last year.

Additional detailed admissions data is available at: