UC Berkeley just admitted its smallest freshman class in 3 years. Here’s why

After a tumultuous year of lawsuits and legislation over campus growth, the University of California’s flagship Berkeley campus admitted the lowest number of first-year students in recent years.

Cal offered admission to 14,600 new students for the fall semester, which begins next week. That compares to 16,400 admissions issued in 2021’s fall semester — and is the lowest number of potential new students since 2018, when 13,559 students were offered the chance to enroll in their first-year. How many students actually enroll won’t be known until late fall.

Despite the legal and legislative battle over Cal’s plans to expand its campus, university officials said the reason for the reduced number of admittance offers was a result of standard enrollment planning, designed to keep enrollment stable.

Since enrollment surged unexpectedly last fall, when a higher than anticipated number of first-year and transfer students accepted admission offers, Cal officials reduced the number of students it would admit this fall. The lower numbers also anticipated a number of students returning to campus after taking a hiatus during the pandemic, university officials said.

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Jorge Oliveira

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