Los Angeles Times

Is the dip in freshman applications at the University of California the start of a trend?

LOS ANGELES - For the first time in 15 years, the number of would-be freshmen applying to the University of California has dropped, the first sign that a national trend of declining college enrollment could be hitting the West Coast.

Applications for the coming school year dipped by 3 percent to 176,530, according to preliminary UC data released last week. The drop could be a temporary blip, experts said. Among the system's nine undergraduate campuses, only three - UCLA, UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz - saw declines in freshman applications.

But the number of students graduating

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