The threat of higher tuition is not keeping prospective students from applying to the University of California in record numbers, UC officials said.

The public university system's nine undergraduate campuses have received 193,873 applications for the fall term, 6 percent more than last year.

As in prior years, UCLA and UC Berkeley were the most popular choices, followed by the campuses in San Diego, Irvine and Santa Barbara.

The Board of Regents voted in November to increase tuition by up to 28 percent over the next five years unless the governor and Legislature give the university more money. Under the plan, tuition would go up to $12,804 this fall for California residents and to $36,828 for out-of-state and international students, rates that do not include mandatory campus fees, room, board and books.

UC officials have said only students with annual family incomes above $175,000 would pay the entire increase, and nearly half of all students would continue paying no tuition thanks to financial aid.

UC President Janet Napolitano said the volume of students seeking admission shows that "students and their families recognize the value of a UC education."

"The University of California continues to draw unprecedented numbers of top-notch students eager to learn and contribute," Napolitano said.

This was the 11th year in a row that the university has seen the number of applications from would-be undergraduates go up.

About 103,000 of the fall applications were from California high school seniors, 46 percent of whom indicated they would be the first in their families to graduate from college. For the third year in a row, Latinos were the largest ethnic group represented in the freshmen pool, accounting for 34 percent of the in-state applications.

The percentage of black residents hoping to attend a UC school as freshmen increased marginally, while applications from white, Asian and Native American high school seniors fell a bit.

Campuses are expected to start notifying the students they admit in March.

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Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com