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UC Merced Negativity...Anyone?

Leviathan08Leviathan08 Registered User Posts: 180 Junior Member
Negativity indeed! but don't be discouraged by others ignorance. To be honest, I like the fact that others dislike the school but that's just me, anyway...

Merced is perceived as being the lowest ranking UC and it is according to the US News, who haven't even given it a rank. But don't forget it was just established not too long ago and it needs time to grow. Three years is definitely not enough time. The students at UCM and the incoming freshman are the ones who can make it the best or one of the best UC's.

All the people who think UCM stinks, I'm sure, have not visited the school for more than 2 hours and are speaking only from other students or adults perspectives, who are also oblivious to UCM's uniqueness. Only two souls at my school (counselor and multimedia teacher) praised and applauded my accepted to UC Merced. Everyone else acted as if they were Scooby Doo when I told them the GOOD news(or I thought was good news) and said, "Uh?...Did you say Merced?". Even my AP and Honor teachers at my school told me to go to any other UC, CSU, or JC instead of Merced.

I was shocked by this! So shocked that I went to UC Merced, on Bobcat Day, and purchased a UCM sweatshirt and wore it with honor as they mocked me. I believe the negativity is coming from the ignorant teachers and other adults, who also, have not really taken the time out of their busy schedule to think "What's the Pros of UC Merced?"

I'm sure more than half of the students, who go or are planning on going to UCM, all asked themselves this question and the people who haven't are the ones laughing at you because your going to UCM. I'm the only senior at my high school who applied to UCM. The ONLY ONE out of 3,000 students, can you believe that? California high school seniors are taking a University of California for granted!!! This surprises me...

Whether it's new or not, it's a UC. And we all know the UC system is the Best in the world. All of this "negative pressure" is really annoying(I agree with fusionall) but, in the end, I believe you will be better off in the future. I believe you will be better off than say a UCB freshman who is working and studying as hard as you are. UC Merced, like America, is truly the land of opportunity.
Post edited by Leviathan08 on
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Replies to: UC Merced Negativity...Anyone?

  • Cali TrumpetCali Trumpet Registered User Posts: 1,607 Senior Member
    Nice post and I agree with a lot of what you said. It indeed is a "land of opportunity."

    My philosophy is that a UC is a UC and you will get a UC education no matter which one you go to. I would definitely choose Merced over any CSU. Many people are going gah gah over SDSU and SLO at my school, almost like these are the schools they have been aspiring to go to for their entire life. Then they put down any UC that isn't UCSD UCLA or Cal.

    This entire forum is all about top colleges, so the 'lower' UC's are seen as garbage to many. I quite like the fact that the UC's are able to accept so many students in their system, and I would choose a UC education over the other options (Privates, CSU's, out of state publics).

    Hold your head up high. Go to Merced and get a high Gpa. Go to grad school and get a high paying job, then you can look back at all your friends in high school with a smirk on your face, knowing that you make more than they do.
  • Arian19Arian19 Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    Did you guys know that UC Merced is the only UC to NOT be Regionally Accredited. But they are a Candidate for accreditation, so i am sure in a few years they will get accredited.
  • fusionallfusionall Registered User Posts: 169 Junior Member
    Why'd you copy and paste your post from the thread I started yesterday? lol.

    That's strange.

    Anyways, I feel you bro. You already know what I said though. No use repeating it. :]

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/university-california-merced/498875-omg-you-re-going-uc-merced.html
  • angkorangkor Registered User Posts: 34 Junior Member
    @ Arian19:
    They will be after I graduate. =]
  • sbillingssbillings Registered User Posts: 26 New Member
    I turned down UCSB for UCM.
    Haha.
    I honestly think that UCM will give me wayyyy more opportunity.
    Just because it does not make a national list does not mean that its a horrible low tier school.
  • Gus2009Gus2009 Registered User Posts: 157 Junior Member
    sbillings will you be a freshmen in the fall?
  • UCMGRADUCMGRAD Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    Hello All,

    As a senior at UC Merced, I have a pretty good perspective on many of things you guys are grappling with. Its obvious there are a lot of opinions out there about Merced being bad. But looking at things from the inside out, I can provide you guys with a perspective few can, unless some other graduate corroborates.

    Lets examine exactly what they're saying. Its a small school, being that is opened in 2005, is there any reason to expect it not to be? It doesn't have a reputation, again opened in 2005, there is no reason to expect otherwise. I know in applying to a good graduate school, reputation matters, but only to a degree. If you have great grades, lots of extra curriculum, and fabulous recommendation letters from your professors, you can get in any good graduate school you want. For example, our 2009 class commencement speaker got in UCSF med school, its no harvard, but he was granted admission to Stanford pre-med program and turned it down to come to UC Merced. Now, many naysayers out there will say, yea if you get into a Columbia, NYU, or Stanford Natural Science program, your chances of getting into a Harvard/Yale grad program is greater. Of course it is, we're talking about NYU and Columbia. Who is comparing UC Merced to those schools? If they are, they are out of touch with reality.

    A reasonable comparison is to compare UC Merced to other recently opened UC's. Again, comparing UCM to Cal or UCLA is like comparing Michael Jordan's son to Michael Jordan, he's obviously less capable cause he's younger. UC Merced compared to Santa Cruz or Riverside would be a fairer comparison. They were opened the most recent in UC history and they're solidly ranked. Opportunities at UC Merced though are in much more abundance. Being that our university is so new, there are many clubs, research programs, internship programs and professor assistantships and individual research programs you can be a part of. Usually, only select students have the luck, grades, capability to get into comparable programs at other UC's, being that they're so few and competition is greater.

    I and over 100+ undergrads received the privilege of leading independent research projects under the stewardship of professors and have published research in NSF journals, how many undergrads at other UC's get to do that?

    Getting to the topic of Accreditation, a hot topic I am seeing. Its a valid concern for students interested in going to graduate school. I wholeheartedly concur. But, our school is going through WASP to be accredited in the American Association of Research Universities and will be fully accredited by 2011. Most, not all Graduate programs will accept this answer and not disqualify you as a potential candidate. In the event that they threaten to, our provost and Executive Vice Chancellor will be on the phone with the head of that graduate program and settle any questions, concerns they may have about accreditation. Now, I know to some students and graduate programs, being in the process of getting accredited won't be good enough, and for them then I say Merced's probably not for you. Some programs and individuals stake so much on reputation alone that there really isn't anything you can do to change that. UC Merced's new, its a baby in the UC system, what can you do? You can't rush whats already occurring naturally. But just to give you a taste of whats already happening on this baby campus should give you a taste of the potential the students and this campus for the future.

    For 2009, the only college campus chosen by the First lady of the United States, Michelle Obama to speak at was at UC Merced. If you guys didn't know this, look it up, its all over the news. UCM was voted the most green campus in the entire UC system, receiving Gold LEED certification.

    Our engineering teams won 1st place in a UC wide and national competitions in robotics. We have the 2nd most prolific in terms of getting patents for Solar research at our University, Dr.Roland Winston. We also have 2 Nobel laureates, one in physics and another in biology at our campus. The physics Nobel laureate is researching Gravity Wave transmission that could render fiber optics obsolete in trans-oceanic communication. We have Kobe Jones, former LA Galaxy midfielder, US Olympian developing our first NCAA caliber soccer team. Obviously I am tooting my school's horn a little bit, but the fact is, these things are all true and they're happening right now. We have a Management school under construction and have enough space to fit UCSD in. There are a lot of negative facts out there, some have some truth in it but many fail to capture the real opportunities at campus. We have the most opportunities for individual research under a professor out of any UC campus. Most of our faculty are from other UC's, Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Cambridge, so you can decide the caliber of education that gives. We have the best Professor to student ratio of any UC campus in the system, meaning more access to professors at office hours, more professors teaching classes and not TA's. These things do not get publicized, which is really too bad, b/c I think most students when they find out these hidden gems and realize their fellow students at other UC's don't have them feel pretty damn good about their decision.

    Now, we don't have a huge selection of majors and prolific sports teams and completed facilities or a super developed graduate program, but who would expect those things when your out only 4 years? If anyone expects differently and then judges harshly on UC Merced not meeting those unrealistic goals is simply out of touch. Its my belief, the real reason you go to school is for the education and access to resources that will help you reach that goal. If you're going to a school so you can get out and brag about going there, I think there may be more complex issues then just wanting to get a good education there. Sure, UCSD and UCLA are more reputable schools, but most of their classes are taught by TAs until you reach upper division. Do you really think the "quality" of education in a reputable 500 person class taught by a TA to be better than the same class taught by a professor to a class of 50 at a less reputable school? Anybody in a smaller class will get a better feel for the material, the professor then in a auditorium with hundreds of other people. I think more than anything, most freshmen at campus could use more 1 on 1 interaction with their professor then to fend for themselves in a sea of other students. Again, its just my opinion. If you went to a big, reputable school and loved it, great. My point is, quality is highly subjective and I believe the qualities that UC Merced provides enhances the education quality of college much more then other, big schools, even if they are more "reputable".

    I hope this gives you guys a new perspective on UC Merced, feel free to pm me with questions.

    YL
  • BestIndaWestBestIndaWest Registered User Posts: 93 Junior Member
    Cali Trumpet I guarantee you got denied by Cal Poly! And people go "ga ga" over csu's because they are a lot less expensive than UC's and for many offer a much better education.
  • Cali TrumpetCali Trumpet Registered User Posts: 1,607 Senior Member
    I'm not the one barely edging out a 3.0 at a STATE school :)
  • BestIndaWestBestIndaWest Registered User Posts: 93 Junior Member
    Im flattered that your researching me... But you couldn't even get into my state school! You are at UCSC, where anyone with a 3.2-3.3 high school gpa can get in haha. Go smoke some weed with your fellow trash UCSC students.
  • DrAhumadaDrAhumada Registered User Posts: 242 Junior Member
    I don't know why people assume that Merced is gonna develop into a great UC. Let's say, UC Riverside was established like 50 years ago, and it still doesn't compete with even the midtier UCs (it might be better than a particular UC for a particular major, but overall, it doesn't compare). Not long ago, SB wasn't very well accredited as a UC, but because of its great location, it attracted a great array of professors.

    UC Merced doesn't seem to appeal to students; they offer admission to people who didn't apply, and are still having trouble getting people to apply. Even if they overcome this problem, there is still virtually no guarantee that they will become a high tiered UC. Riverside has like 6 times the amount of students and still is not up there.

    I'm just curious, everyone says that it is gonna become a great UC, but what's the reasoning behind that? Yes, its young, that doesn't not mean that it will become great.

    Now, that being said, I'm not trying to insult anyone at UC Merced. You guys are right, it is a UC, so it has a nice level of prestige that comes with it from just that. I'm sure there are other reasons... I've never been to Merced, so I can't really say.

    To OP: The reason nobody applies to UC Merced is because if you have met the UC requirements, you are GUARANTEED admission. You don't even need to apply. You just need like a 3.0 and some very average SAT scores. In addition, if you honestly think a current Merced student is better off than a Berkeley student, you are sorely mistaken.
  • _Jono__Jono_ Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Umm assume? I think you mean potential. Assume has a negative connotation. Why would I assume otherwise?? I think the point was how can anyone shoot down UC Merced so early in the game. No one's saying that UC Merced WILL become a top tier school. They're just saying the potential is there.

    The entire U.S. education system is broken period. We teach our children how to become slaves of credit instead of INVESTING in them as a means to advance our future, like for example, Germany's education. We offer our best teachers to families that can afford them through private schools. Families with spoiled children who don't appreciate or understand the opportunities they've been given. I'm sorry for making such a sweeping generalization but the dialogue that goes on in these forums leads me to believe it's not a difficult case to make.

    Teacher to student ratio is where UC Merced shines. Anyways, if you aren't picking a school because it's got an excellent program for your particular major then you're simply burning time and money and I feel for you. Good luck with your pride making decisions for you.
  • DrAhumadaDrAhumada Registered User Posts: 242 Junior Member
    What I'm asking is why do you assume it has potential? What reason? Being a young school? How does that mean it has potential? Every school was a young school at some point, and only a few became the best, most of which because they have stood the test of time (the Ivy leagues, the top UCs, etc). Assume is not the same as potential but with a negative connotation, and I really don't know why you think the two are related at all.

    While I don't completely disagree with your middle paragraph, I really don't see what it has to do with UC Merced negativity. But addressing it anyway, really, anyone can get a good education regardless of where they go. In fact, you don't need to go to a university to get a great education, you just need to be self motivated.

    And as for your last few points:
    - Student to faculty ratio at Merced is 1:15. Same as most of the UCs, but considering it is a much smaller school it also means far less resources.
    - As it so happens, I actually did pick a school that has an excellent program for my particular major. UCSB has a fantastic Chemical Engineering program, and since you seem to be so keen on the student to faculty ratio, it happens to be 1:9 for the College of Engineering.
    - Your last two sentences contradicted themselves. If you're picking a school just because it has a great program, then you're doing it for pride. If you're picking a school because it is an excellent fit for you academically, mentally, and socially, then you can't go wrong. Of course, you can have the best of both worlds and go to a school that offers everything and has an amazing program for your particular major.
  • _Jono__Jono_ Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    I didn't mean to single you out. Not all the comments I made were directed at you.
    This statement you made however,

    "The reason nobody applies to UC Merced is because if you have met the UC requirements, you are GUARANTEED admission. You don't even need to apply. You just need like a 3.0 and some very average SAT scores. In addition, if you honestly think a current Merced student is better off than a Berkeley student, you are sorely mistaken."

    this is the reason I mentioned pride. Because your statement indicates that since just about anyone can get into UC Merced, it's less of a school. Who cares if a school has 5,000 or 20,000 in attendance.. if it has a program that excels in your particular major than it should be a good choice for you. I don't see how I contradicted myself because choosing a good program for your major is nothing like choosing a school because of overall perceived prestige. I know nothing of the particular strengths of schools like Berkeley, Harvard, Stanford, etc; but for me to decide I want to go to that school because it's a glorified pile of bricks is naive. Unless you do research, you can not judge any school. Time is not on UC Merced's side. It still has to develop a reputation. That becomes only obvious after we see the success of the students that attended. There simply has not been enough time for that to happen. And yes... it does have potential simply because it is a young school, not to mention a UC with the many resources that system provides. If no one thought Merced had any potential the school wouldn't have been built.

    UC Merced could play major roles in environment research as it's right next to Yosemite or play a large role in California's waterway system. It's located in a farming community, so sure it has potential. And no, there's no sarcasm there.

    I'm happy for you. UCSB is a great school, but like any other school, has it's strengths and weaknesses. You wouldn't go to UCSB for design or theater. The gamble with Merced is we don't know it's strengths yet. That hardly makes it a bad school.
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