UC admissions split for Class of 2015

Kevin Yang, News Editor

The tale of University of California admissions for the Class of 2015 is a two-sided story.

While the percent of applicants who were admitted has risen 2.6 percent on average across all UC schools, the UC admission story is more complicated than this lone number might suggest. The trend is split down the middle: higher tier UC schools decreased their percent of applicants accepted while lower tier UC schools increased their admissions for graduating high school seniors across the nation this year.

The so-called “flagship” UC colleges, Berkeley, Los Angeles, and San Diego, dropped their admissions for graduating seniors this year compared to students of the previous graduating class. Los Angeles and San Diego accepted 2.6 percent and 1 percent fewer students respectively. Berkeley’s admissions experienced the most drastic drop with a 9.3 percent decrease in students accepted compared to last year.

While the flagship schools admission rate dropped this year, the other UC schools experienced a remarkable increase in admissions for this year’s graduating seniors. The most remarkable admissions increase took place at Santa Cruz, where 23.9 percent more applicants were accepted compared to last year. In addition, Riverside saw a significant admission increase of 7 percent. The admission rate of UC Santa Barbara and UC Merced remained roughly the same compared to last year. UC Irvine was the only non-flagship UC school to decrease their admissions, reducing their admission rate by 5.6 percent.

UC Davis strangely is an outlier in the general trend of UC admissions this year. Davis, considered a strong University of California school, experienced a large increase in its admission rate for seniors this year. While the other schools in the upper half of the UC system decreased their admission rate, Davis admissions rose by 11.6 percent this year.

Changes in acceptance rates don’t necessarily reflect an increase or decrease in competition. According to senior Rish Vaishnav who will be attending UCSD next year, increases and decreases in admissions often are caused by that particular class of students tending towards one major or another.

“It may appear that there was more competition in one year compared to the next because less people were admitted, but when in reality the people from a ‘more competitive’ year had different interests and applied for more heavily impacted [more competitive] majors,” Rish said. “So that makes it really hard to generalize whether or not competition in general was harder from one year to the next.”

The general increase of admissions is likely due to a new revenue agreement reached by Governor Jerry Brown and University of California President Janet Napolitano on May 14 of this year. The agreement includes a 4 percent budget increase for the UC system for the next four years, which should translate into more money for the schools to provide for more students.