For the second year in a row, Loyola Marymount University has received a record number of applications for its freshman class, university officials said.

The 11,181 students who applied for admission to LMU represent a 12.3 percent increase over last year. The largest group of applicants was California students at 7,874, up 17.6 percent from the previous year.

Matt Fissinger, director of admission, said potential students are hearing positive things from current students about “all the good things going on at LMU and great students telling their friends this is a terrific place.”

Californians make up approximately two-thirds of the applicant pool at LMU. There was an increase of 1,181 applications this year from students living in California, while the number of students applying from out of state went up by 41.

Fissinger thinks other factors contributing to the growth of in-state applications are previous and looming budget cuts at the University of California and California State University campuses. Previous state cuts have led to sharp tuition and fee increases at the public universities, and have made it harder for students to get the classes they need to graduate in four years, he noted.

“I think pricing plays a role,” the admissions director said. “The difference in cost is not as disparate, and I think there is real uncertainty about the immediate future of the educational environment at the UC and Cal State systems.

“In addition, families are figuring out that four years at LMU is not much more expensive than five or six years at a UC.”

Along with the applicant numbers, the grade point averages and SATs, formerly known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test, of LMU incoming students have been on the rise, officials said.

This year’s entering class had an average GPA of 3.74, a record for the university. The average SAT and ACT scores were 1204 and 27.0, respectively, up from 1177 and 25.9 last fall, which are also records.

One statistic that did not change this year from last: 61 percent of applicants are women and 39 percent men.

The university is now ranked third among “Best Regional Universities (West)” by U.S. News & World Report.

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