No “safety schools” in California: report


In a recent article published by Inside Higher Ed, editor Scott Jaschik reports some surprising news about the University of California (UC) schools: this year, previously considered “safety schools” are not so safe.

Jaschik writes that, normally, when students are rejected from schools such as the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley), college counselors are not surprised. After all, Jaschik writes, UCLA and Berkeley have “for years been long shots for all applicants.”

This admissions season is different. College counselors report that students who banked on schools such as University of California, San Diego (UCSD) or University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), are being wait-listed or even flat out rejected.

Jaschik interviews Rebecca Stuart-Orlowski, a private counselor. Stuart-Orlowski reports “unusual trends” this admission season. One student Stuart-Orlowski worked with was admitted to UCLA, but rejected by UCSD. Another student got a “likely admit” from Cornell, but was rejected by both UCSD and UCSB.

Stuart-Orlowski concludes that this year, UCSD “can be no one’s safety school.”

So, why the unusual trends in admission? One theory, Jaschik writes, is that this year’s applicants are “paying for” a miscalculation at University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine) last year, in which about 800 more applicants than expected accepted their offers. To public criticism, UC Irvine revoked 500 of those offers of admission, claiming that applicants did not submit necessary forms.

Amidst allegations that the school was using the forms as an excuse to cover for their mix up, UC Irvine eventually “revoked the revocations,” Jaschik writes.

Another theory for why we are seeing such unusual admission numbers is that there are simply too many applicants. While Jaschik makes it clear that UC officials note that it is “too early to produce figures,” admission counts are available

Total applications to UC rose by 5.7 per cent, but the largest increase was not at Berkeley (which actually saw the lowest number of applicants), but at University of California, Riverside, where the number of applicants rose by 12.4 per cent and at UCSB, which followed closely with an 11.4 per cent increase in applicants.

For more on this year’s UC admission trends, read the full story.

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