Despite a projected drop in California high school graduates this year, a record number of freshmen -- 148,450 -- have applied to at least one University of California campus, a 6.2 percent increase over last year and the tenth straight year of rising applications, the UC system announced Friday.

Overall, including transfer applications, the number of UC hopefuls rose by 4.9 percent.

UC Berkeley's popularity has continued to grow, with an 8.9 percent increase in freshmen applications since last year: 73,711 candidates are vying for a spot on the campus of 25,000 undergraduates. The applicants include 44,517 California residents, 15,774 students from out of state and 13,420 from other countries.

Earlier this week, the California State University system announced it, too, had received a record number of undergraduate applications, with nearly 284,000 students applying to at least one of its 23 campuses.