UCI students enter Aldrich Park on the first day of classes last fall. A record 104,672 have applied to the campus for fall 2017. Steve Zylius / UCI

A diverse group of 104,672 students, including incoming freshmen and transfers, have applied to the University of California, Irvine for fall 2017 – a campus record.

UCI saw the UC system’s highest numerical jump in freshman applications and is third – behind only UCLA and UC San Diego ­– for the total (85,060). Of those, 63,097 are in-state applications, which puts UCI second – after UCLA – in that category. The freshman cohort also includes the UC’s largest number of underrepresented minority California residents (26,948). The campus attracted the most Chicano/Latino freshman applicants to attend a UC school (23,463) and the third-greatest count of African American freshman applicants (3,221).

“This is wonderful news,” says UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman. “These spectacular results represent exactly what we have set out to achieve – sending the message to all California residents that an exceptional UC education is accessible to them and that UCI is where they want to be.”

“We’re delighted that so many individuals have accepted our invitation to UCI,” adds Thomas Parham, vice chancellor for student affairs. “The outcomes we hoped for have now been realized with crossing the 100,000 threshold for applications, and this would not have been achieved without the hard work and outreach of our admissions staff and our messaging about UCI being both accessible and affordable.”

In November last year, for example, Parham visited Compton High School as part of the fifth year of the Achieve UC initiative, which reaches out to schools and communities that have significant numbers of UC-eligible students but send relatively few to the university. He says applicants have begun to trust the message that their academic dreams and aspirations will be nurtured at UCI.

“One of our goals is to demonstrate that excellence, diversity and inclusion can exist simultaneously, and the numbers reflect a commitment to inclusive excellence,” Parham says.

Highlights of the UCI applications for fall 2017 are:

  • Total: 85,060 freshmen and 19,612 transfer students
  • Closing the gap: UCI is behind UCLA by just 383 in the number of California-resident freshman applicants. For fall 2016, the gap was 1,312, and in 2015, it was 2,767.
  • Leading the growth: UCI had the largest increase of all UC campuses in freshman applications (7,274).
  • Outpacing the system: UCI posted 10 percent growth in California-resident applicants and 9 percent growth overall, compared with 6 percent and 3 percent, respectively, systemwide.