Fall quarter begins at UCSD

 LA JOLLA, Calif. -- Classes at UC San Diego began Thursday, with 4,500 freshmen and 2,200 transfer students on campus for the fall quarter.

The high school grade-point average for incoming freshmen was 4.0, while transfers had a GPA of 3.5, according to the university.

Among the freshmen is Edgar Villaruel of Downey, who is attending UCSD on a U.S. Air Force scholarship. The officer-training program requires military service for the same number of years he attends college.

"I feel like I've been preparing for college my whole life,'' Villaruel said. "I know I will be very busy, but I have always been the type of person to put a lot on my plate, so I am up for the challenge.''

More than 12,500 students -- a record -- will be living on campus, according to UCSD. For the first time, incoming freshmen will be guaranteed four years of on-campus housing, and transfers will be provided living quarters for two years.

The amount of student housing at UCSD has doubled in the past five years, according to the school.

Several new structures are open to students, including 183,000 square feet of classroom and office space devoted to structural and materials engineering, a 1,200-space parking structure on the east side of campus and an 80,000-square-foot addition to the Rady School of Management.

UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla replaced Marye Anne Fox over the summer.