As highschool students we know that the next step after highschool is usually college. And as a senior applying to colleges in October-November, it can be extremely stressful. I’ve worked hard my whole high school career to maintain exemplary grades, a significant number of volunteer hours, and flawless essays. With all the work I have put in I expected my college admissions results would be a breeze. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I applied to 9 schools total. 5 of them being UC’s and 4 CSU’s, I didn’t get into one UC. To tell you I was humbled would be an understatement. I was devastated, I felt that my hard work had added up to a bunch of rejection letters. However, when I looked into it further I discovered that I wasn’t the only straight-A student who had been jipped by the college admissions process.
There were record low admission levels this year for a majority of the schools around the nation. University of California Santa Barbara’s admissions rate in 2021 was 29.2% but this year it dropped to a low of 11%. This drop caused many well qualified students to be thrown out of the running. However, it should be noted that this school received a record number of applications, so it makes sense that their acceptance rate decreased. That doesn’t explain why students with over 4.0 GPAs and many extracurriculars were denied admission.
It is not just UC’s that had super low acceptance rates this year, the CSU system did too. After talking with Mrs. Marwick, she mentioned that she feels that SDSU has become a “mini UC” in the past couple years.
Many higher level colleges are also notorious for college scandals. There was the disaster with Lori Loughlin and how she paid tons of money to USC to get her daughters into the school. Looking at everything that the colleges have been doing in recent years, it’s laughable to think any average person has a shot.
In my opinion I feel that the SAT or ACT requirements need to make a return. Of course I understand that there needs to be better accessibility for lower-privileged students. If we can get that sorted out there needs to be standardized testing that is presented to colleges. Between letter grades and GPAs it’s not enough for a college to determine if you are prepared for college. Of course volunteer work and extracurriculars play a role but colleges are academic experiences so the majority of judgment should be based off of a students academic performance.
Personally I feel that the volunteer work and extracurriculars should be more of a focus when it comes to scholarships. Students should be writing essays about their lives in order to receive scholarships and grant money instead of using it to determine if they would do well in UCLA’s Biochemistry program.