MERCED -- More students are choosing to enroll at the University of California at Merced, according to data released Tuesday.
Of 18,993 freshmen admitted to UC Merced for the 2009-10 school year, 1,358 have sent in "statements of intent to register." That's an increase from the 1,069 for fall 2008.
Kevin Browne, assistant vice chancellor for enrollment management, predicts the numbers put the university on track for a fall enrollment of 3,200 students.
UC Merced's freshmen admissions continue to rise as officials build the campus, but the numbers for the UC's nine undergraduate campuses dropped compared with last year because of state budget cuts. With less money, the campuses are accepting fewer students.
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The percentage of students deciding to attend UC Merced also has increased but still falls below the UC systemwide average.
For 2009-10, 7.2 percent of freshmen admitted to UC Merced decided to enroll. That's up from 6.1 percent for 2008-09.
Sixty percent of the 1,341 noninternational freshmen admitted to UC Merced applied to another UC campus and were referred to UC Merced. If referral admissions are excluded, UC Merced's commitment rate jumps from 7.2 percent to 14.6 percent.
That's still lower than the systemwide average. At all nine UC campuses with undergraduates offered admission, nearly half committed to enroll this fall. The University of California at San Francisco does not enroll undergraduates.
Also released Tuesday were admission rates for state community college students. For 2009-10, 2,153 students were admitted to UC Merced for transfer from community colleges. That's up from 1,628 for the 2008-09 school year.
UC Merced admitted 84.6 percent of community college students seeking to transfer, compared with an average of 81.8 percent across the other UC campuses.
Opened in 2005, UC Merced's academic programs continue to develop. Sociology has been approved as a new major for fall, and the university is planning a school of management and a school of medicine.
To view UC systemwide data, go to www.ucop.edu/news/studstaff.html.
Bee staff writer Michelle Hatfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2339.