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UC San Diego Inspires Local Students to Reach for Higher Education

Outreach programs will target regional high schools

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Juan González greeting high school students at a UC San Diego outreach event.

As part the University of California San Diego’s continued outreach efforts to high schools across San Diego and the state, staff and leadership from campus including Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Juan González will travel to Madison High Feb. 21 and Chula Vista High Feb. 23 to deliver the message that a UC education is within reach. As a first-generation college student, González knows the important role education plays in enhancing the futures of young students.  

“What I tell students is: ‘visit our campus, get comfortable here and walk around with confidence,’” González said. “‘We are here to serve students across this state and you, as Californians, are stakeholders because UC San Diego is a public university. Dream big and think of the university as a resource to help you achieve your dreams.’” 

The programs at both schools will include information about navigating the college preparatory process, admissions, financial aid and career services. Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from current UC San Diego students and alumni.  

UC San Diego continues to work in close partnership with the San Diego Unified and Sweetwater Union school districts to promote increased access to a university education.  Admissions officers from the campus visit all local high schools in San Diego County every fall before the fall deadline to apply to the University of California. They also visit all community colleges in San Diego and Imperial counties in both the fall and spring. These efforts have contributed to continued growth in student diversity at UC San Diego.  

Fall 2016 marked the entrance of UC San Diego’s most diverse class: 24 percent of admitted students came from historically underrepresented groups, while 29 percent of new freshmen and 38 percent of incoming transfers were the first in their family to attend college. Furthermore, the university admitted 54 percent more students from 4th and 5th quintile schools, which are classified as low-performing due to their Academic Performance Index (API) from the California Department of Education. Applicant diversity was promising in 2017 as well, with more underrepresented groups applying to the campus for admission, up 10.6 percent compared to last year.  

In addition to admitting and enrolling a diverse student body, UC San Diego is committed to ensuring all students are a success while they are on campus. The university has increased resources that support diversity, inclusivity and student success with new initiatives that include identity-themed housing for LGBTQ, black and Latino students and a mentoring program for students who come from under-resourced high schools and/or are the first in their family to attend college, among other programs. 

A recent study reported by the New York Times names the University of California San Diego as one of the best colleges in the country for providing upward social mobility. Among 27 peer institutions, the study revealed that UC San Diego had the most low-income students (coming from families who made about $20,000 or less per year) at 11 percent. In addition, UC San Diego ranks 5th out of 25 highly selective public colleges for its share of disadvantaged students who stand a greater chance of becoming high wage-earners as adults (moving from the bottom fifth of incomes to the top fifth as adults).

Other organizations have lauded UC San Diego’s efforts to enroll and graduate large numbers of low income students. The campus was ranked the country’s No. 2 college in graduate success measures in a new report by the Washington, D.C.-based Third Way. The organization looked at UC San Diego’s Pell Grant students, graduation rates, post-college earnings, loan repayment rates and more — ranking the campus second out of 535 four-year public colleges and universities in the U.S.

The two outreach events, titled “An Evening with UC San Diego,” will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 21 at Madison High School in the Claremont Mesa neighborhood, and from 6 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 23 at Chula Vista High School. Registration for the event can be completed online by visiting this link, or by calling 858-569-1866. Admission and parking are free.