I am very confused

I am a parent of HS class of 2016. I have been reading stats for accepted / rejected students trying to understand the trend for UCLA admission and I am very confused. I understand that GPA is more important than test score. I also understand slight boost for URM / fist generation students. I understand the value of EC. But when I see a 2400 SAT kid with 3.98UW GPA, tons of APs and recruited swimmer getting rejected from UCLA and USC I do not know what to think. I also see some 1700 kids getting in. What do you think? It must be some logic behind those decisions.

The whole thing is crazy. I will say that personal statements are important. My test scores were on the lower end of what UCLA usually admits, however, I feel my essays were very strong. I was admitted over some of those 2300 SAT students, so who really knows.

Was the kid really a “recruited” swimmer? No “recruited” athlete with those stats will be turned down.

@alicantekid‌ recruitable athlete. See UCLA class of 2019 post # 131.

I have 3 kids who were HS classes of 08, 10 and 13. So I have been watching the results from our high school for a few years. For our southern California high school they usually admit the top 1 or 2%. One of the ways they maintain some diversity is by admitted the top 1 or 2% from all Southern California high schools. I think they mainly look at GPA and test scores, but with so many qualified students within that pool, it comes down to ECs, leadership, etc…

I was accepted with a upper 1700’s SAT score and not great grades (somewhere around 3.7 UW and 4.1 W GPA) but spent so much time on my application. I literally had around 15 drafts of my essay, sending it to as many knowledgeable people I could to review it. The final draft looking almost nothing like my first draft. If it is possible, I would recommend counseling from someone with knowledge in college admissions to go over your child’s essays. I also had extensive EC activities (ASB, several commissioner roles, many community service outreach days, and others). I had a great hook too with great hardships growing up and dealing with during high school (home issues) and focused on that. I got extremely lucky with my admission and couldn’t be happier, but I really think that the essay and ECs are EXTREMELY important. Most importantly, focus on something that sets you apart from others and show that you be a successful student. I hope this helps, best of luck! GO BRUINS!!!

Kind of reiterating what the person above me said, but the essays are the MOST important part of the application, from what I’ve seen. It doesnt matter if some kid has a 2400 sat score a 4.0 UW gpa, if their personal statement sucks, they will probably get rejected. At some point I think that schools really just use gpa and scores to make sure a student is qualified and capable and then move on to strictly whether they want that student to be at their school - based off personality learned through essays and EC’s i think. Know what I mean? Prestigious schools like UCLA have the luxury of looking past just test scores and GPA. They admit who they want.

Ofc this is all ultimately a subjective decision. The admissions officers at UCLA have the final say on who is getting in and who is not. One adcom might place an emphasis on extracurricular activities whereas another might prefer stellar GPA and SAT scores. Relativity also comes into play when adcoms compare applicants. One application might look better/worse when read after an amazing/subpar application. And applicants continue to build ever more impressive resumes as the years go by. There are hundreds of factors that I could talk about.

But what I have noticed at my own high school is that, typically, the “balanced” students were accepted. And by balanced I mean well-rounded: excellent scores at or above the 75% for UCLA’s accepted student pool, substantial leadership and commitment, and probably unique/interesting personal statements.