The number of students applying to attend UC this fall rose nearly 9 percent to 175,000, with all nine undergraduate campuses reporting gains. The total includes 140,000 freshman applicants and 35,000 students seeking to transfer, according to university data.
The latest application data shows there's strong demand for a UC education even though tuition has roughly doubled over the past five years to about $13,000 for California residents. Out-of-state students pay about $36,000 in annual tuition.
The number of California residents applying as freshman and transfer students rose nearly 5 percent to 129,000. Domestic out-of-state applications increased 14 percent to 23,000, while international applications jumped 31 percent to 23,000.
The California applicants were 30 percent Latino, 30 percent Asian-American, 29 percent white, 6 percent African-American and 1 percent Native American. The number of applicants rose in each demographic group.
UCLA attracted the most applications at nearly 100,000, followed by Berkeley at 84,000, San Diego at 82,000 and Santa Barbara 76,000. The average California applicant applied to about four campuses.
The Merced and Santa Cruz campuses saw the biggest jumps in applications, which rose more than 14 percent at each school.
For the first time, Latinos made up the largest share of California residents applying as freshman, increasing from 30 percent to 32 percent, UC officials said. Latinos are also the biggest group of California high school graduates.
The number of freshman applicants rose 11 percent, while transfer applicants increased 1 percent. The number of applicants seeking to transfer from California community colleges fell 1 percent, the second annual decline after large increases in 2008 and 2011.
Nearly 46 percent of California freshman applicants indicated they would be the first in their families to graduate from college. About 39 percent are from low-income families.
Among California freshman applicants, UC drew 30 percent from Los Angeles, 28 percent from other parts of Southern Calfiornia, 24 percent from the San Francisco Bay Area, 6 percent from other parts of Northern California, 5 percent from the Central Coast and 7 percent from the Central Valley.
Last year, the UC system reported a 13 percent increase in undergraduate applicants, driven by a 56 percent jump in out-of-state applications as well as a new policy aimed at expanding the applicant pool.