UCLA rejections: An analysis

<p>Ok, so I have heard a lot of people on here talking about their UCLA rejection though they are clearly qualified, if not overqualified, Ex: (2200+ SAT, near-perfect GPA, great EC's, etc.) and I decided that this needs more "looking into". So here is my analysis of the situation.</p>

<p>UCLA is a university like any other, they want to fill seats. They don't want to accept too many students, nor too little. So, based up their previous working data, they formulate new acceptance policies. So, in theory, if this year UCLA accepts 200 students with 2200+ SAT scores, and only 20 decided to matriculate, causing a slight void in the class size, UCLA would therefore accept less of the same type of student next year because they would expect them to go elsewhere (Berkeley, Stanford, etc.) This process happens every year. UCLA compares trends and previous data to decide what type of students they should let in. </p>

<p>However, in all these great students that they deny, there are some that truly want to go to UCLA, and are not using it as a backup for Berkeley or some other top tier college. These people, are essentially screwed because they are collateral damage to an admissions policy. My only suggestion would be to appeal and show true interest to matriculate, then UCLA should not have a reason to deny you. </p>

<p>Since UCLA accepts certain types of students, with certain types of scores and grades, they tend to look for similar students every year. So, the 2200+ students are actually at a DISADVANTAGE because UCLA has less of them matriculate, therefore they hold less spots for them. So, there is one case where getting a better SAT score can hurt you. In most college admissions processes, this sounds crazy, I know, but in cases like this, it can be true.</p>

<p>Certain types of students go to certain types of schools, just by nature of competition and "fitting in" to an academic scene. A majority of students who are considered "top tier" go to top tier colleges because that is usually what they want from a college experience. Not that UCLA isn't a great school, but it is on the lower end of the top tier, if not second tier (depending who you ask).</p>

<p>In conclusion, UCLA may have rejected you because you were underqualified (majority of rejects) or overqualified (collateral damage). This is the nature of the admissions process. Tell me what you think.</p>

<p>...Tufts Syndrome?</p>

<p>i get really annoyed when you california jerks just apply to like 6 UCs and sit back and expect to get an easy admission. I AM GLAD PEOPLE GET REJECTED FROM THEM BECAUSE QUITE FRANKLY, THEY DON'T SEEM TO CARE WHICH COLLEGE THEY GO TO.</p>

<p>Yeah, UCLA seems really weird this year. So far, everyone I know from OOS and their moms have gotten in with quite average stats. People say UCLA is like getting into Ivies from OOS, yet people with stats similar or below mine (think 30 or below ACT, average ECs, 3.9ish UW GPA with less AP classes than me) have gotten in. I don't know what's going on because when I asked for chances, EVERYONE said I would have gotten rejected right away, yet people with worse stats than me are getting in. I don't understand this.</p>

<p>I'd say this is false. I got accepted and I have a 4.0+ and a 2300+ SAT. I gave no hint whatsoever in my essay or in my info that I was interested in attending UCLA at all. </p>

<p>However, I may very well end up going to UCLA, even though I didn't openly express it in m application. I think its a great school with a great deal of learning opportunities. My decision will depend on the other schools I get in and the overall costs of each.</p>

<p>While many CA students use the shotgun method when applying to UCs, I think it is less applicable to UCLA and Cal (and UCSD to a lesser extent), since these are name-brand colleges desired by many CA and OOS students.</p>

<p>But yeah, I know several people who don't know the difference between UC campuses other than location.</p>

<p>It seems that UCLA had tougher restrictions on instate applicants this year. Perhaps they are looking to diversify because of the extremely low number of OOS attending? I was accepted, but I know a few Cali friends of mine are a bit peeved (a certain girl with a 2250 SAT who views my 31 ACT as crap, but in all fairness her extracurriculars aren't too great). When I first heard what was happening, I did get the feeling that UCLA could possibly be suffering from Tufts/WUSTL syndrome. However, I don't believe that to be the only factor. I don't think there is any way possible that they could deny a student with superb essays, grades, volunteer work, etc. It seems like it would vastly undermine their credibility.</p>

<p>I think that UCLA is trying to discourage top students from thinking of the school as a safety school. It was especially important that they stressed this because the class of 2008 is ridiculously huge. There is not enough space to admit a kid who will more than likely not attend.</p>

<p>A number of years ago, I applied to UCLA's MBA program and was accepted to the part-time program (only 60 students were accepted each year at that time--and I was one of the last two in--since they took exactly two off of the waitlist that year--and I was one of them).</p>

<p>Among those accepted to the program were 7 people who already had Masters degrees in other fields from other schools. We had a guy from Harvard with a Masters in Architecture, a guy from MIT with a Masters in Engineering, and a lady from Stanford with a Masters in Public Administration, along with 4 others. </p>

<p>Once classes started, 6 out of these 7 students (the Harvard guy being the exception) were the laziest bunch of students I ever met in my life. All of these people had jobs--the same as the other 54 accepted students--but somehow they felt their jobs were so much more important than ours--and as a result they would skip team meetings and were always giving reasons why they had to travel out-of-town for business or meet with a customer--or some other excuse. They always expected us to do their work for them.
At first some of us did so, but it very quickly became obvious to us that these people needed to earn their MBAs and having us do it for them was unacceptable. As a result, 6 out of the 7 (all but the Harvard guy who worked just as harder or even harder than the rest of us) were expelled or dropped out of the program.</p>

<p>In my opinion, it was obvious what the problem was. UCLA took these people to boost their admission statistics (being able to claim they had so many people who already had Masters degrees) and who probably had GMAT scores that were higher than the class average (although I'm not sure about that one). But the students like me who barely got in were incensed. Realizing that many people similar to myself who deserved to get in did not because of the school's efforts to create this "egotistical" image did not go over with us--and we let the administration know about it in no uncertain terms.</p>

<p>The following year (and I'm guessing in the years that followed) the MBA school made sure to eliminate sending acceptances to such people--that is, those that already had Masters and busy jobs and that were not likely to put the necessary effort into the program to succeed. Instead they focused on the types that needed the knowledge--and the degree--and wanted to be at UCLA more than anyplace else.</p>

<p>I wouldn't be surprised if something similar to this is behind who does and doesn't get in to the undergraduate program. All admission offices want good yield numbers--and they don't need 30 posts on collegeconfidential from people for whom UCLA is their "safety". It's a good thing to be serious in choosing students that will be active at the school in all it has to offer and who view UCLA as their first or (at the very least) second choice. And even for those who don't attend the school, it is usually nice to know that the school was at least seriously considered.</p>

<p>P.S. There are many schools that keep track of things like school visits, requests for videos, and interview requests for just this reason. And this is also the reason why "legacies" matter. The schools need to know that the student really cares about the school--at least a little.</p>

<p>So these "overqualified" students were rejected outright? Why weren't they waitlisted instead (if there's such a thing for UCLA)? It would certainly be a good way to assess the students' interest.</p>

<p>I'm presuming some of them (a very small number) were waitlisted also.</p>

<p>But the adcoms are probably like me. After you've read through about 1,000 "chances" threads, it doesn't take long when reading one of these threads before someone knows how interested a student really is in a college--and which ones are just being applied to for "ego" reasons (so a person can say they had 15 acceptances) or as "safeties".</p>

<p>It makes no sense to put someone on a "waitlist" if they aren't really interested in the school. It is much better to put people on the waitlist who might take the time to show just how much they do care about getting into the school.</p>

<p>There are schools were the adcoms don't want to scare off anyone who might end up enrolling there (WUSL is famous for this, so they waitlist everyone that would be a reject), but UCLA doesn't fall into this category. UCLA gets more undergraduate freshman applications than any school in the entire country.</p>

<p>But it's very difficult to tell who among the high-stats people are serious applicants. This part of admissions must be an art.</p>

<p>It's easier than you think.</p>

<p>Start with the person who sends test scores to 23 schools (8 Ivies, plus MIT, Caltech, Stanford, Duke, Georgetown, UC Berkeley, Tufts, Amherst, Williams, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Chicago, Vanderbilt, Rice, and UCLA). It doesn't take long to realize that UCLA is not their first choice.</p>

Start with the person who sends test scores to 23 schools (8 Ivies, plus MIT, Caltech, Stanford, Duke, Georgetown, UC Berkeley, Tufts, Amherst, Williams, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Chicago, Vanderbilt, Rice, and UCLA). It doesn't take long to realize that UCLA is not their first choice.


Wait - they see all the other colleges I have applied to?</p>

<p>They don't.</p>

Wait - they see all the other colleges I have applied to?


No, but it's easy for admissions officers to tell which kids are serious about applying. But perhaps all the UC's coordinate with each other, so maybe they know if kids are applying to UCB.</p>

<p>just to doublecheck they don't all see where you've applied to, right Calcruzer?</p>

<p>They can't. And I doubt they coordinate to the extent that that they know which campuses you've applied to. That would be unfair on all applicants.</p>

<p>I doubt there's a way for the UCs to know where you're applying unless you say something like "I'm applying to X University, and Y College also!" in your essays...</p>

<p>The idea that UCLA admits less high scoring, high GPA kids because less of them matriculate seems flawed to me.</p>

<p>If UCLA decides to admit less of these people, the percentage of those who go to UCLA shouldn't change. Ex (I know the numbers aren't realistic): UCLA admits 1000 students with high stats. 100 decide to enroll. The next year UCLA sees this and only admits 500 students with high stats. 50 decide to enroll. What I'm saying is that by cutting down on these acceptances, they can't improve their matriculation %. I can't see a point in doing it unless they want the stats of the school to drop. I don't know of a college or university who would want that.</p>

<p>While showing interest might improve an applicant's chances of acceptance, I doubt that UCLA is choosing to admit less students with high stats based upon the idea that less of them end up at UCLA. </p>

<p>I would think that they would admit students who are a good fit for the school, regardless of the thought of whether or not the people will actually enroll. Sometimes the students with the perfect SAY and high GPA come off as people who would not add anything to the University. UCLA probably doesn't only want a bunch of kids who do nothing but study.</p>

<p>^But if a greater percentage of their admits are in that category that have slightly lower stats, but are more likely to enroll, their yield will go up. Look (this is just as an example):</p>

<p>Year 1:
1000 kids with the highest stats are admitted, 100 go
5000 kids are admitted with less-than-perfect stats, 2000 go
Yield: 35%</p>

<p>Year 2:
500 kids are admitted with highest stats, 50 go
5500 kids are admitted with less-than-perfect stats, 2200 go
Yield: 37.5%</p>