Orientation staff and new freshmen at SPOP chant their individual dorm cheer during the SPOP talent show at the UCI student center. photo: steve zylius/UCI 

New UCI Academic Program Enhances Access and Affordability for Freshmen and Their Families

Facing unprecedented demand from college-bound Californians, UCI has introduced an innovative, affordable academic program that bundles the degree-related freshman curriculum with programs on leadership development and career preparation.

The Anteater Leadership Academy offers selected general education courses and customized programs exploring topics such as presentation skills, entrepreneurship and career advancement. Tuition for all the Academy’s offerings is $2,105 per quarter, half the cost of the standard freshman curriculum. UCI is able to keep costs low by providing a specialized curriculum in collaboration with the Division of Continuing Education.

“UCI was founded on the spirit of innovation and collaboration more than 50 years ago, and the Anteater Leadership Academy is an extension of our legacy,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman. “With this program, we are able to accommodate more students affordably without sacrificing the rigor and quality of a University of California education.”

Those joining the Academy will have alternative enrollment status as students of the Division of Continuing Education. Their courses will be held on campus, be taught by UCI faculty and fulfill the requirements for a bachelor’s degree. In addition to tuition, they will pay the standard fees required of all students, giving them full access to recreational facilities, clubs and student organizations, including fraternities, sororities, student government, and events and activities. In fall 2018, they will seamlessly transition to their sophomore year in UCI’s traditional academic program.

“UCI is to be commended for its innovative approach to accommodating more California residents and for creating an affordable option that helps our middle-class students,” said Assemblyman Matthew Harper, whose 74th Assembly District includes UCI. “The Anteater Leadership Academy is a creative way to redefine the college experience and help support UCI’s long-term growth.”

Long-term vision to address growth

The roots of the Anteater Leadership Academy were planted decades ago, as UCI became one of the first and most popular providers of online and open coursework through the Division of Continuing Education. The need for an integrated degree-related program fostering leadership skills became increasingly apparent within the last two years, as the university finalized its strategic plan and prepared for growth. For the fall 2017 term, UCI received more than 104,000 applications, more than all but two universities nationwide. This demand continued with a historically high number of accepted students committing to register for fall. The Academy will allow UCI to flex capacity to meet demand, accepting hundreds more California freshmen while helping to rein in escalating college costs.

For the inaugural year, all incoming first-year students have been invited to join the Anteater Leadership Academy. Members are not eligible for on-campus housing or need-based financial aid, making the program most attractive to students from mid-income families who plan to commute or live off campus. UCI is offering complimentary parking to those who register before June 20, and meals are included in many of the leadership courses and social events.

“Our ‘Anteater Leaders’ will be the new generation of UCI pioneers, providing feedback to university leadership and shaping the program for future students,” said Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Enrique Lavernia. “They will enter their second year as stronger scholars, leaders and difference-makers. I’m proud to support and develop a new approach to learning that benefits students, their families, our university and the community.”

For more information on the Anteater Leadership Academy, go to http://www.admissions.uci.edu/anteaterleader.