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Admissions Trends at Top Public Colleges

Dave_BerryDave_Berry CC Admissions Expert Posts: 2,279 Senior Member
"... Getting admitted to a top public college is becoming tougher, as applicant pools grow and average acceptance rates fall.

That's one finding of an analysis of data submitted by the top 10 highest-ranked public colleges and universities in the 2008 through 2018 editions of U.S. News' National Universities rankings.

Here are three admissions trends at the top 10 ranked public colleges. Calculations for some years included U.S. News data from more than 10 public schools due to rankings ties." ...


Replies to: Admissions Trends at Top Public Colleges

  • preppedparentpreppedparent Registered User Posts: 2,091 Senior Member
    "It's really the race to prestige – prestige at a reasonable price," she says.

    Yes, I don't think its the ease of the application process that accounts for it being tougher to get into top public universities like Berkeley and UCLA.

    Once you have completed the Common App with all the supplementals, and figured out how to ask for your rec letters and uploaded abstracts and art supplements to Slide Room, and reconfig'd your resume for uploading, and figured out which universities don't take Common App, you're winded, and are trying to figure out if you really need/want to fill out more apps to UC colleges, and those who don't take CA, like MIT and Georgetown.

    The online app process has not made anything easier. The more reasonable explanation is that those who are competing for a top college are also looking for top colleges that are affordable. We need more like them.
  • CaliDad2020CaliDad2020 Registered User Posts: 804 Member
    @preppedparent Well, the full menu of UCs are a pretty much a single click once you do the first one, so that for sure is easier.

    I'd guess the reasons are:
    Rise in importance of Rankings. Since USNews, in particular, splits rankings by National U and LAC, the "big college" ranking is the one most kids/parents look at. And internationally the WSJ/Times International rankings reward the top publics' big post-grad research depts. so internationally their reputation is very good. Also, internationally many countries have only a "public" University system so students don't differentiate.

    Price: The Cals, UCLA, UMich, UVa, UNC of the world are ranked up with or higher than many more expensive privates (even for OOS) So a kid from Oregon or China, if they don't expect need or merit money, pays 10k-15k less to go to ULCA or UNC than NYU or BC. (A full-pay OOS student picking #30 UNC over #32 BC saves 20k a year!) 30-80k over 4 years is real money for even upper middle-class families. And in state,of course, becomes very significant.

    Increasing population. CA, while the rate of growth has leveled off, is still growing. We added 6 million residents this century? Add increased international applicants and US pop growth overall also contibutes.

    The on-line app process has made it easier for international students. UCLAs 100k applications is due, in part, because of rising middle class in India + China etc., strong international rep and relative ease of applying. (UCLA, for instance, reports 47k CA res, 6k OOS and 4K international applicants in 2010, 59k CA res, 21k OOS, 17k Int. in 2016... CA apps are up marginally, OOS and Int exponentially...)

    BTW, this is why I argue UCs - esp UCB and UCLA should increase OOS tuition. Rep is higher than many more expensive privates and folks will pay for the name. There's really no reason UCB should be 10k a year cheaper than BU or Tulane. Even at 5k a year cheaper (UMich tuition) those schools would be over-subscribed.
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