More and more California students are coming to UChicago to study, and more and more UChicago students are going to California on Metcalf Internships. (Illustration by Laura Lorenz)

California love

Itʼs been a record year for California students and California jobs.

Eureka! California students and employers have discovered UChicago.

In the 2017–18 freshman class, there were more students from California than any other state. (In the past, most students came from Illinois, with New York second.) In this year’s entering class, California and New York are in a dead heat.

What explains this reverse migration?

In recent years UChicago has increased its financial aid, while tuition has been rising in the California state university system. So UChicago is becoming a first-choice option for more West Coasters.

Meanwhile, a record number of 146 College students have Metcalf Internships in California this summer. They’re working at tech firms (Facebook, Google, Uber), finance firms (Capital Group, City National Bank, Dodge & Cox), in the film industry, and at nonprofits.

With the nation’s largest economy, California is a state where more and more UChicago students want to move after graduation.

So Career Advancement is planning two career treks to San Francisco (for banking and technology) in 2018–19, as well as a trek to Los Angeles for creative careers. In September the inaugural California Technology and Product Forum will bring UChicago students to the Bay Area to meet prospective employers.

But what about culture shock? Aren’t California and the Midwest too different?

“California is incredibly diverse, and the University is also an incredibly diverse place,” says Mason Heller, AB’15, assistant director of College admissions, originally from the Bay Area. “Both have beaches and a body of water where you can’t see the other side.”

He did have to make some adjustments however. “I was over at someone’s house, and I asked where the compost was,” Heller says. “They just laughed.”