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Record Number of Incoming Freshmen Join Students Heading Back to Campus for Start of Academic Year

Photo by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

Fall quarter classes begin today for approximately 31,000 students at UC San Diego, including a record estimated 5,179 incoming freshmen and 2,645 new transfer students.

The incoming freshmen have an overall grade-point average of 4.06 and average SAT Reasoning scores are 612, 670 and 627, respectively, for Critical Reading, Math and Writing. The campus’s new transfer students bring with them a 3.52 grade-point average.

Luis Cuarao, who is among the campus’s nearly 8,000 new students, says he’s looking forward to beginning a new chapter of his life at UC San Diego.

“I am looking forward to the challenge that UC San Diego has to offer,” Cuarao said. “I want to excel and show what I can do. I know that it won't be an easy task, but the most rewarding things in life aren't easy.”

Cuarao, who was separated from his parents at age 10, has had to overcome many obstacles in life, yet the electrical engineering major has achieved great success as a student–graduating among the top of his high school class with a 4.37 grade-point average. He said he is looking forward to creating a new home at UC San Diego.

“I am really looking forward to living on campus in an apartment,” he said. “The timing seems perfect since I turned 18 on the night before fall quarter began…I look forward to creating a better future, and I know that I'll be able to do that at UC San Diego!”

For fall 2013, about 13,000 students will live in campus housing. This year, UC San Diego was extremely successful in efforts to increase yield: the number of student accepting offers of admission jumped by 22 percent over last year. That also led to more students living on campus than ever before.

“UC San Diego continues to attract and enroll the best and the brightest students,” said Alan Houston, UC San Diego interim vice chancellor for Student Affairs. “Our ability to do so is testament to UC San Diego’s prominence as a world-class university that offers students extraordinary opportunities to thrive and succeed.”

With our success comes challenges too; in order to accommodate the record number of new freshmen and returning students choosing to live in campus housing, UC San Diego’s Housing, Dining and Hospitality has converted some “double” bedrooms housing two students, into “triples” that accommodate three students.

“At UC San Diego, it is our mission to ensure students succeed,” said Mark Cunningham, assistant vice chancellor of Housing, Dining and Hospitality. “Our Housing, Dining and Hospitality staff and the residential life staff at the colleges have been extremely dedicated to providing as much care and concern as possible to students impacted by the housing demand.”

Efforts to accommodate students included the creation of additional spaces within the housing communities featuring extra desks for students to study. New furniture also was purchased to ensure students have adequate space for their personal belongings. In addition, students will be invited to participate in expanded programs and activities through the academic year, and hours of service at all of the main campus dining facilities have been extended.

Students living on and off campus can look forward to new building renovations at Revelle College. Blake Hall was recently renovated and the Plaza Café’s construction is in progress; in the meantime, students in the neighborhood can dine at the campus’s first-ever food truck, “Incredi-Bowls,” until the Plaza Café re-opens.

Upgrades to the Revelle College neighborhood will include a new courtyard that will be complete with terrace seating, an outdoor fireplace and sustainable landscaping.

In addition, a new 417-seat lecture hall in Galbraith Hall has opened its doors, as did the refurbished new student study space (formerly CLICS library). All of the new building reflects a mid-20th century modern quality that is consistent with the original design of Revelle’s campus.

Students returning to school also can work towards earning a bachelor's of science degree in public health for the first time. The new degree program in the growing international and dynamic field of public health is offered through the department of family and preventive medicine in the UC San Diego School of Medicine.