Planning for Undergraduate Enrollment Increases

February 18, 2016

UCLA Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

Dear Colleagues:

You may have read that the University of California Regents recently approved President Janet Napolitano’s recommendation to increase undergraduate enrollment across the University of California system by 10,000 California residents over three years: 5,000 in 2016–17 and an additional 5,000 over the following two years, 2017–18 and 2018–19.

The Office of the President has also set targets for each campus’s share of the first increase. UCLA has been assigned 750 additional undergraduates for 2016–17, and we have decided to aim for 600 first-year and 150 transfer students. We have not yet received word about our targets for the following two years, but we expect our undergraduate enrollment target to increase by approximately 1,500 new undergraduates in total over the next three years.

These additional students would be on top of recent increases in nonresident undergraduate enrollment, which helped us ameliorate the impact of state budget cuts. Between 2010–11 and 2015–16, the size of our undergraduate student body grew by 14 percent. By 2017–18, the number of students will have grown by nearly 20 percent in just seven years. At that point, the total number of students at UCLA will surpass 40,000, three-quarters of them undergraduates.

Clearly, this growth will exacerbate existing strains on our resources and challenge us to find ways to ensure that our students receive the quality education they deserve and expect at UCLA, and planning is already underway. We are determining where the course enrollment pressures are greatest and will provide funding for temporary faculty, teaching assistants, advising and other educational resources to meet demand.

Finding enough graduate teaching assistants to support instruction will be especially challenging, and we are already examining various ways to meet the need for more TAs. Additionally, we are assembling a task force to address sensitive issues related to space since we know that classrooms, laboratories, housing, library and study spaces, and recreation facilities will all be strained. We will also devote attention to student services of all kinds.

One way to help absorb the new wave of students is to increase summer enrollment. I therefore encourage faculty and academic departments to develop unique programs for Summer Sessions that will boost student participation in summer programs and help reduce their time to degree.

Enrollment growth will bring modest new resources. We estimate that we will receive $14 million in new revenue for 2016–17, including tuition dollars and about $2.8 million in additional state funding that is contingent on achieving the university-wide enrollment growth target. Our collective challenge will be to fund all of the mandated and critical expense needs from limited growth in core funds revenue. Through the budget process, a primary goal will be to invest as much as possible directly into undergraduate education to support the enrollment growth, allocated according to need for additional courses.

We are firmly committed to making sure that students receive an outstanding education in and out of the classroom. We will respond to the challenges that growth presents with innovation, strategic investments and determination. I ask for your patience, ingenuity and teaching prowess to help UCLA absorb this new wave of undergraduate students.


Scott L. Waugh
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost