Why are 4.0s rejected?

So far, after looking at the Cal/UCLA 2015-16 transfer threads, I saw quite a few 4.0s that got rejected. I wanted to ask, why was this? I understand that a few more factors like Major prep and IGETC completion are also a large factor, but most of the 4.0s that I saw receive rejection also had those factors along with it. Not only that, these people also had a fair amount of E/Cs. It seems like it could be because of their major and if it’s impacted or not, but even then, I saw a few non-impacted majors get denied.

All things aside, though, why are 4.0s rejected? What are some of the common reasons why they get rejected? What can those with a 4.0 do to further increase their admissions chances to these high-ranking UCs? I understand that a 4.0 GPA does not equal 100% guarantee, but I thought that GPA was one of the most important, defining factors among transfer admission. Not only that, a 4.0 applicant usually has those other defining factors (i.e. major prep) along with that GPA. Maybe I’m wrong, though?

They applied to an impacted major
They applied to Haas and didn’t have the leadership skills, work experience, etc. that Haas looks for
They didn’t have all the pre-reqs required in their major

There could be lots of reasons.

Usually, they are missing major requirements, although as above poster said, if it’s truly a highly selective major, they might take ECs under consideration.

Another thing never mentioned- suspected plagiarism. A poster up here a while back, 4.0, all req completed, tons of related ECs. Applied to Communications. Rejected at UCLA. Well, ok, it’s a tough one, but a bit surprising; then rejected at UCSD. This seemed doubly odd. He did get into UCSB so I knew it wasn’t a unit issue. My first thought was they don’t believe he wrote his essay (or something similar). I have no idea, but it entered my head.

The mom of a friend of mine reads scholarship essays for SCU and she says sometimes it’s glaring that someone else wrote the essay.

He also could have been lying about his 4.0.

I think it can commonly be major prep. I applied to UCLA in 2014 for linguistics with computer science and did have quit a bit of the prep done, but not all of it (I had more of the co sci prep done, but no science done yet) - rejected. I applied to USC as undecided (I would not have had 64 units that they require to be a junior) - rejected. CSULB for computer science - rejected. I did oddly enough manage to get into UCSD for computer science that year, but I was really hoping for a school closer to home. I tried again next year (after getting a B and a W or two) and my 4.0 was history, but every school that rejected me the year before, suddenly accepted me. I did however change my major though as I was scared to get rejected again. For USC, I even put down sociology as an alternate major despite having nothing done for it really (just 1 course), and that’s the one they accepted me for. I often think it does have something to do with major prep (even missing 1 cab be bad for impacted/popular majors), but USC confused the heck out of me with admitting me for sociology.

One good reason is that there are too many 4.0 applying! According to UCLA 40% of applying 4.0 UWGPA freshmen (not just transfers) get rejected!

One of the reason I could think of is number of Ws and number of NPs.
I have 4 Ws and 2 NPs. And my gpa is 4.0.
Going to apply this fall as Anthropology B.A. Let’s see what happens :smiley:

@laccstudent W’s really don’t matter. NPs do, but not W’s.

From my experience, the main reason 4.0 students get rejected:

-didn’t complete correct/required coursework
-had no ECs
-poor personal statement (seriously, I re-read one for someone after they were rejected and it literally made no sense. It was like a spam bot just spewed a bunch of random stuff and interlaced the words “achieve”, “dream”, “desire”, and “academics”)
-similar to a poorly written personal statement; a personal statement that doesn’t answer the prompt (yeah, slam poetry might be your thing, but the ADCOM doesn’t want to read your oddly formatted/punctuated piece)
-forgot vital application steps like the TAU
-are 1 year transfers and may have a 4.0 but don’t have 30 units by the time they apply
-getting caught in a lie

But honestly, its the didn’t do required coursework that I think gets most people. When I applied I triple checked the assist page and UCLA’s transfer-admit-by-major page several times.

@luckie1367 Has a pretty much complete list. Honestly, most 4.0s aren’t the most involved on campus. Most people need to make sacrifices to maintain a high GPA, and these sacrifices can have consequences in applications.

@luckie1367 I don’t believe you need a minimum 30 units to apply. That only applies to TAGs, as far as I know. And you need 30 total from a CC to get priority consideration, but that is through spring.

And re PS, you will not get rejected solely due to a PS. It says so on the UC q+a. A PS can only help. Unless, of course, they suspect plagiarism. Also, not answering the prompt will not cause rejection. I know ppl who did that and got in. And again the UC very clearly says you will never get rejected solely due to a bad PS. The sole purpose of a PS is to help. (BTW, I answered the wrong prompt and got Berkeley and UCLA.)

And having no ECs will only affect you if you’re a competing borderline student - except for Haas. In general, the UCs don’t put that much stock in ECs.

So of your list I would say required coursework missing, leaving out a vital step, lying, and under minimum units, which you didnt mention.

^^^ please don’t take the above as an attack. I just reread. I didn’t mean it that way. I just wanted to note that I didn’t think PS and some other stuff would cause a rejection and freak people out. :slight_smile:

if people retake the failing grade and get the A, will that case still influence the chance ?

If the school uses LOR’s and the student picks the wrong person then, the LOR can make an adcom think twice about admitting a 4.0.
We had a smart-aleck-type kid, about 15-20 years ago, ask a popular math teacher for a letter of recommendation at our school.

The student liked this teacher since the teacher was smart, funny and very organized in his teaching style. From what I heard, the teacher tried to have the student ask someone else; saying that he was behind in his letters, and that it might be better to go with someone else, who could meet the time deadline. The student insisted that he wanted this teacher’s recommendation.

So the teacher wrote up a LOR.

The 4.0 student and parent sued the school district claiming that the student didn’t get into the right colleges because the LOR, sent in by the teacher, didn’t praise the student enough and the kid’s life was ruined forever.

The LOR apparently was a list of the kid’s activities and grades, with the teacher indicating that he had known the student for a couple of years. What was later revealed in court was that the kid was not a nice kid. He was smug and mean. He was always in the VPs office dealing with disciplinary issues and Dad had rescued and condoned his child’s behaviors.

The math teacher indicated, that the student was always late to class and tried to be a class clown, often interrupting the teacher. So the teacher wrote a letter that was basically a list. No other coach or teacher had written any letters. The coaches told the courtroom that they were glad they hadn’t been asked to write a LOR.

The Judge came back and said that the admissions people had a right to choose whomever they wanted.

After the case was thrown out, the school district required waivers.

@“aunt bea” oh my god.

I’m a political science 1-year transfer. 4.0 GPA. Completed IGETC and major prep during and after the application. When I was rejected, my counsellors called and asked why: they said I didn’t take enough poli sci classes my first semester, which made me look like a weak candidate especially be they only saw my first semester during my application process :frowning: hope this helps. Good luck

For those who are rejected and have 4.0s AND all major prep done, I think it's because they haven't shown enough interest in their major. ECs are still crucial for transfer students but not in the same way as for high schoolers. 

When a high schooler applies to college, they usually do not know what they want to major in and may change their minds a few times. ECs can still show a bit of passion and dedication. But when a transfer student applies, it’s assumed that not only do you already know what you want to major in, but you want to major in it badly (atleast if you’re applying to a prestigious school).

If you really have a passion to become a business major, then getting a 4.0 wouldn’t satisfy you’re hunger for business. You want to know EVERY rule in the book AND then practice them with wherever you can start because you love it so much. ECs wouldn’t be a task, they’d be part of your life. If it’s genuine, it’ll just show.

If you just wanted to major in business for the sake of getting a job, you could go to any decent university, but if you want the priviledge of being able to take world-known classes, it would be obvious based on what you’ve done outside of the class.

I of course am but a mere CC freshman, but I think that explanation is pretty logical.

@wanderingmind I wouldn’t be so sure that this is the only explanation. It doesn’t explain why I wasn’t excepted to my major last year (only as undeclared) with 4.0 transferable GPA, all required major prep done and a full time job in the field (what can show more passion than a rapid career growth WITHOUT a degree???) It doesn’t explain why my friends got rejected from UCLA and UCB with stellar ECs and similar stats. Every application is different, and schools that use holistic approach in their admission process often look beyond ECs: background, family situation, etc.
My cc advisor also shared that some UCs are going out of their ways to make money by accepting more out of state peeps. While they all say that priority is given to ccc students, there is very little transparency in this process. So I wouldn’t be so certain that the lack of ECs is the only explanation.

I know sometimes TAG leads to higher qualified applicants getting rejected due to lack of space. I heard that was a big reason UCSD discontinued its TAG.

@Ohm888 yep. My 4.0 friend who applied last year for CS got rejected from UCI, but got accepted into UCB. TAGs are definitely a factor.

not sure if this applies to berkeley and UCLA, but ive heard that sometimes top 4.0 students get rejected from the lower schools because admissions think they’ll get admitted to the more prestigious schools and not SIR with them. this prevents them from lowering their admit rate since they’ll only accept people who have more of a chance of actually enrolling with them. perhaps the interest or fit just doesn’t come across.