UCLA graduates celebrate last spring. The campus received the most freshman applications in the UC system.

UCLA graduates celebrate last spring. The campus received the most freshman applications in the UC system. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / June 14, 2013)

The number of applicants for next fall’s freshman class in the UC system rose by 6.2% over last year, driven mainly by a continuing boost in interest from out-of-state and international students, according to data released Friday.

Applications from Californians to at least one UC campus totaled 99,761, just 632 or 0.6% more than the previous year. This came as the population of high school seniors in the state is declining, the report showed.

However UC has been recruiting heavily outside of California to gain the higher tuition revenues paid by non-residents. That was reflected in a 19% jump, to 26,143, in applications from other states in the U.S. and a 20.8% increase, to 22,546, in those from other countries.

Non-Californians make up about 11% of the undergraduate student body across nine campuses, although that is much higher at UCLA and UC Berkeley. UC spokesperson Dianne Klein said officials expect the overall proportion to increase somewhat next year but it has not yet been determined to what level.

Budget deliberations underway in Sacramento will affect UC’s preliminary plans to increase overall undergraduate enrollment, now about 184,000, by 1%, she added.  

Under the UC system, students can try their luck at multiple campuses on one online application.

Once again, UCLA was the most popular choice in the system, garnering 86,472 freshman applications, up 7.5% from last year; next was UC Berkeley, 73,711; up 8.9%. San Diego was third with 73,437; Santa Barbara received 66,756; Irvine; 66,426; Davis, 60,496; Santa Cruz, 40,687; Riverside, 34,899; and Merced, 15,264.

About 59% of all UC applicants last year were offered a freshman spot somewhere in the system, but only about 20% at the most popular campuses, UCLA and UC Berkeley.

Applications from transfer students showed a slight decline from last year, dropping 0.5% to 34,822 total. The number of Californians trying to transfer as upper-class students to UC fell by 2.1% to 29,117, the records show. Transfer applicants from out of state and the nation totaled 5,705, up about 8%.

On average, California students, including transfers, applied to four campuses.

Latinos made up the largest share of UC frosh applicants who are California residents:  32.7%.  Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders made up 31.7% of that group; whites, 26.2%; African Americans, 5.9%.

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larry.gordon@latimes.com

Twitter: @larrygordonlat