As I said somewhere up thread, it's not that people from CA don't want to send their kids to in-state publics. Most people I know would prefer it. But the publics are notoriously difficult to get into, especially the ones that have a residential college experience. If your student wants a popular major (like CS or engineering) then it's really difficult to find a place, even for a very high stats kid. The state has not expanded its university system quickly enough for the growth in population of college students.
But when despondent people come on here & complain that UCLA is overcrowded, or that it will take 6 yrs to graduate from Berkeley, & they don't have the grades for Stanford or the spare half-million bucks to buy their way into in USC, some of us feel compelled to say, "Look, as disgusting as the idea apparently is to you, as repugnant as the notion must be, there ARE other options OUT HERE IN THE MIDDLE." Or "DOWN HERE IN THE BOTTOM-RIGHT CORNER."
UC Riverside [...] doesn't have the same quality of students compared to the other UC's you mentioned that are more popular.
namely that many California liberals tend to be vocal in their distaste for politically conservative states...
Interestingly the only publics that are WUE schools on this list are S OR, AZ State, MT State and U of MT. So most are going to OOS publics where they pay OOS rates.
In reality, it's that liberals have a problem with the conservative reputation of Utah (and/or the supposed dominance of the LDS church).
SMU’s acceptance rate is 50%. In a country where top schools accept less than 10%, SMU is not nearly as selective and academic strength of average student is significantly lower than top schools.