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UC enrolling more first-generation and low-income students

An estimated 39 percent of all University of California undergraduates enrolled for the fall 2010 term come from low-income families, an increase of 8 percentage points from two years ago and the largest percentage in the university’s history, according to a new UC analysis of admissions data released today.

“The numbers in this analysis demonstrate that UC remains true to its charter as a public institution,” said UC president Mark G. Yudof in prepared remarks to be delivered Friday morning at Grant High School in Sacramento, where he also noted the Oct. 1 launching of a revamped and more user-friendly UC application and information website.

The admissions analysis is based on the number of UC Pell Grant recipients, which now stands at 70,000 โ€” also the highest in UC history. In 2008-09, 31 percent of undergraduates received the grants. Federal Pell Grants are awarded to low-income students whose family incomes typically fall below $50,000 a year.

Yudof requested the analysis “Undergraduate Access and Excellence at UC,” to assess the impact of recent budget cuts and fee increases on UC’s ability to enroll an undergraduate student body that is broadly representative of California’s socioeconomic and ethnic diversity.

It also was spurred by reports from UC’s financial aid offices that more California families were filing for financial aid as a result of the recession. Yudof wanted assurance that UC costs were not freezing out families facing economic hardships.

In addition to the substantial increase in low-income students, the report also found that, for the last two years, the percentages of first-generation college students and underrepresented students admitted to UC have steadily increased, as has the academic quality of the incoming freshman class. Read more.


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