In the aftermath of high school seniors receiving their Fall 2022 college admissions decisions, many people are acting as amateur college admissions officers, including applicants’ themselves and their families. Many speculate why someone was denied, yet another (who seems less qualified) was admitted.
In the speculative frenzy, often, urban myths are perpetuated:
MYTH: Out-of-state applicants, who pay more tuition, are prized over in-state residents for public universities.
Perspective: Assuming admissions is an economic argument, where one consumer is more likely to be profitable, therefore more attractive, oversimplifies the complexity of admissions. In a perfectly competitive admissions environment, like we have here in California, where 100,000+ first year applications will be submitted to a single campus, like the approximately 150,000 to UCLA, and where California residents are submitting more applications, someone who is a resident is statistically likely to be denied admissions, no matter how qualified.
Additionally, California legislators have publicly called for caps on out-of-state enrollment, for which University of California leaders have pledged to abide, and sent additional dollars to expand UC slots for qualifying California residents.
However, simultaneously, with the removal of SAT and ACT scores from consideration, now a permanent policy, applications in the last two admissions cycles, Fall 2021 and Fall 2022, applications have sharply risen, 28% at UC Berkeley between the Fall 2020 and Fall 2021 cycles alone, and a 14% increase from Fall 2021 to the Fall 2022 cycle. Thus, the competition for admissions only continues increasing.
Since college admissions officers evaluate annually record breaking numbers of applicants over a few months, admissions outcomes, often leave my colleagues and I scratching our heads. Second guessing admissions outcomes though, attempting to soothe the sting of denied admissions, can be a fool’s errand, only stoking resentment. Families should focus not on what should have been, but what can be, by embracing the power of now.
For more information about how to both plan for and navigate the complex college admissions process in order to minimize the risk of educational malinvestment, check out Creative Marbles Consultancy