Why is UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) getting extremely competitive to get into?

I’m from Maryland, and two really high performing students from my daughters high school were deferred from UMBC’s EA to RD. Last year, I knew outstanding students at her high school who were rejected from their honors college. These students have 3.7 and 3.8 GPAs, high SAT scores, yet are still being deferred and rejected from the honors college at UMBC. Looking at last year’s freshman class profile, the average GPA was a 3.82. That is very high for a state school like UMBC. Why is UMBC becoming much more competitive than in the past?

I think that with rising education costs state schools in general are more attractive than ever. UMBC does a good job of selling themselves to high stat students as a school where it’s cool to be smart. They give good merit scholarships which along with in state tuition and a quality education makes it attractive to a lot of students. With the amount of AP classes and special programs available in high school it’s not unusual for a student to have a gpa north of 4.0 which drives up the averages. Just a guess.