UC President Mark Yudof

In an attempt to raise more funds during an era of unprecedented cutbacks, the UC system is planning on admitting more students from out of state than ever before, since those students have to pay a higher tuition. That means fewer in-state students will be admitted to their first-choice campuses.

To soften the rejection letters that will go out soon, UC President Mark Yudof on Thursday sent out an email to the system’s applicants telling them that they may be hearing from campuses to which they haven’t even applied.

If a senior has applied to UC Berkeley or UCLA, Yudof noted, they may get some information from UC Riverside about a particular program, even though they never applied to Riverside.

“While your application is being reviewed by the campuses you have applied to, other campuses within the UC system will be looking at your record, too,” wrote Yudof . “They may get in touch with you directly to tell you about degree programs they offer that could be a good fit, given the interests and talents you described in your application.”

“Don’t worry – this does not mean that you are not being considered by the UC campuses you chose. We just want to make sure that if we see an additional opportunity for you at another UC campus, you know about it and can make an informed decision about all of your UC options. “

The hope, apparently, is to steer some of the students who may have at one time gotten into UC Berkeley or other hyper-competitive campuses but who will be rejected this year, to another campus.

It’s growing tougher every year to get into the most popular UCs: Berkeley and Los Angeles.

This year, a record number of students – 50,000 — applied for admission to Cal, according to an email sent to applicants by Walter Robinson, the director of admissions. That is up by almost 2,000 applicants from last year. UC Berkeley admits around 4,000 freshman each year. A total of 99,845 applications were submitted system-wide.

About 2,244 of those who applied to UC Berkeley were African-American, an increase of 9.6% percent from last year. UC Berkeley hired Gibor Basri in 2007 as the first Vice Chancellor for Equality and Inclusion  to create new initiatives to attract students of color to the school, and this is one of the first indications his efforts may be succeeding. The number of American Indian, Asian-American, and Latino students is also up. All together, minority applicants make up 26.4% percent of the applicant pool, up 1.2% over last year.

The quality of the applicants keeps rising each year. This year, the mean grade point average of a freshman applicant to UC Berkeley is 3.85. That means if you get a C in even one course, forget about going to Cal. The mean SAT score for the applicants is 1841.

Many of the applicants to UC Berkeley would be the first in their families to attend college. Almost 35% of the applicants fit into the category and it rises for the other UC campuses.

For the first time, UC Berkeley may also adopt a wait list for its freshman class, according to the Dailt Californian.

If you want to see these and numerous other statistics, the Office of the President has put out lots of detailed information

Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, published in November...