Note: Originally posted in 2015 (see Notes on Facebook), but was taken down in preparation for Associated Students Elections.
“Thank you for your application to ‘College A’ for Fall Quarter 2016. We have carefully reviewed your records and regret that we cannot offer you admission to ‘College A.’”
Yep, it is that time of the year again: College Admissions season. A time of the year when the following things happen: (1) “College A” sends you an admitted message; (2) “College A” sends you a “regretful” rejection message; (3) “College A” sends a “you’re on the waitlist” message; (4) You tell your family, friends (and whoever will listen to you) which colleges you got into or did not get into; and (5) You and nearly everyone else in your high school Senior class will become the college acceptance version of an NFL insider, spitting out rumors seemingly every break and lunch on who supposedly got admitted or rejected from “College A,” “College B,” and so on. Ah, doesn’t it feel great to be a high school Senior right now?
Now since the majority of students in California have an insanely ridiculous love affair for the University of California (UC) schools (I cannot really blame some of you for using the name as a reason for your choice), I will focus specifically on them.
So what are the odds of having an application admitted by one of the UC campuses? Well, they vary from year to year. According to the preliminary data from the UC’s Office of the President website, 61,120 out of the 99,890 applications from California (61.2%) were admitted by the 9 undergraduate UC campuses in 2014 (UC San Francisco was not represented.
Sounds good so far, right? Well that ends here because clumping all the applications to one pile is misleading. Very misleading.
What you folks and your parents really want to know is the individual results from each campus. And without further ado, here we go.
UC Merced: 9,313 out of 14,141 applications were offered admission (65.9%).
UC Riverside: 17,758 out of 31,127 applications received the blessing of the campus (57.1%).
UC Santa Cruz: 18,539 out of 34,578 applications got the “Banana Slug” song treatment (53.6%).
UC Davis: 27,813 out of 46,808 applications had a “yes” head nod from the admissions officers (38.1%).
UC Santa Barbara: 18,815 out of 51,029 applications were receiving good news (36.9%).
See the trend that is coming up as we go further and further down the list?
UC Irvine: 17,396 out of 52,272 applications got “congratulations” messages (33.3%).
UC San Diego: 15,762 out of 50,632 applications received a triton’s welcome (30.2%).
UC Berkeley: 8,391 out of 44,564 applications had to give a bear hug from all the joy (18.8%).
UC Los Angeles: 9,128 out of 55,949 applications were totally satisfied (16.3%).
The point: while many students were admitted into each of the 9 undergraduate UC campuses, plenty had to be turned away. It really is a game of chance.
Getting rejected from a UC campus – heck, maybe from every one of them – IS NOT the end of the world. I would go as far as to call it a blessing. Let’s face it: living in California means the UC campuses will be overhyped.
With that in mind, here are 4 more reasons for you to consider:
1) The name of a college does not guarantee future success. A student could be going to attending a well known college, but graduate in the mid-pack to lower bottom of your graduating class; or the student could be going to a “mid-pack” college, but graduate at the top 10% of the class. If you were hiring someone for a relatively important and well paying position, whom would you choose? I sure hope the school name doesn’t cloud your judgment.
2) It is the education and major, not the college that you are going after. If I plan on majoring in Business Finance, UC Santa Cruz would not be a suitable option, since they currently do not offer that. San Jose State or the University of Nevada, on the other hand, have a Business department that actually provides this major.
3) There are many colleges out there that are offering certain majors. However, there is only one “you.” As cheesy as this may sound, it is true. If they were not willing to admit you, then they never deserved you in the first place.
4) Your college experience is not dependent upon getting into the school “of your dreams,” which to many of you, is a UC school. It is dependent upon you making the most out of wherever you go. You could be going to one of the most renowned schools, but be struggling academically and socially; or you could be going to a school that might not spark as much conversation, but be succeeding in nearly all phases of college.
These 4 reasons bring me to this conclusion: As heartbroken as you might be, life will still go on. You are not defined by the amount of college admissions or rejections; you are defined by how you take the given situation and make the best out of it. As the saying goes, “It’s not how you start. It’s how you finish.” College is just the next phase in a very long, successful life. Your job is to make sure that the second part gets achieved, regardless of whether or not it comes along with a “prestigious” UC school.
If you get in: congrats. If you did not: remember to make them regret it…and give the number one sign as you pass by.
So you did not get admitted? No worries: they are missing out.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the writer are solely his, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Associated Students.