Freshman applications to University of California schools for the 2013 school year reached a record high of more than 174,700, with Latinos making up the largest portion of applicants for the first time.
All nine undergraduate campuses saw an increase in freshman applicants from the previous year, with a systemwide increase of 10.7%, according to figures released by the UC system Friday. Latino students accounted for 32%.
The number of out-of-state and international freshman applicants surged, 15% and 34% respectively, while the number of California students who applied for admission as freshmen grew by a more modest 6.2%.
"This is the ninth year of record all-time highs," said Dianne Klein, spokeswoman for the UC system. "In general, students are applying to more colleges, whether they're hedging their bets or what have you."
On average, California students applied to about four UC campuses.
UC Santa Cruz saw the largest increase with a 16.9% jump in freshman applicants, UC Merced followed closely with 16.6% and UC Berkeley saw the smallest increase at 9.7%.
UCLA got the highest overall number of applications with 99,559 freshman and transfer applicants.
The increase in applicants will make the UC admissions process even more competitive, said Michael Trevino, director of undergraduate admissions for the system.
"But we'll continue to have a place for outstanding California applicants," he said.
Out-of-state freshman applicants increased from 19,128 to 21,970, and international freshman applicants swelled from 13,873 to 18,659.
Latino applicants grew from 30.1% last year to 32.1%, making them the largest ethnic group among California freshman applicants. Asian Americans made up about 30.9% of freshman applicants, down from 32.2% the previous year. White students were 27.1% of freshman applicants and black students were 6%.