Pages Navigation Menu

California high school grads with 4.0 GPAs face rough road to UC schools

California high school grads with 4.0 GPAs face rough road to UC schools

Hit the books, study hard, become a 4.0 student — and you have a 50% chance of getting into the University of California Berkeley or Los Angeles (better known as UCLA).

Being a high school student boasting a 4.0 grade-point average a decade ago was basically a lock a to attend the best and most sought-after public universities in the state.

Now, California’s brightest high school students must compete with budget cuts and a dramatic increase of international and out-of-state students who pay much higher tuition and help balance the budget for the University of California system

The University of California, Los Angeles campus in Westwood.

The University of California, Los Angeles campus in Westwood.

UCLA was the most difficult admission for 4.0 high school graduates, with only 48.8% of applicants accepted as freshmen in 2010, the most recent data available from the UC system. UC Berkeley is the second toughest for admission at 50.7%.

UC San Diego and UC Davis are the third and fourth most difficult UC schools at 75.1% and 86.3%, respectively.

The remaining five UC schools – Irvine, Santa Barbara, Riverside, Santa Cruz and Merced – all had 90%-plus admissions for 4.0 GPA students. UC Merced, the latest school to open, is basically a guaranteed admission for straight-A students at 99.1%.

But what about high school graduates with less-than-perfect grades? It’s a lot tougher to be accepted into a UC school today than just a decade ago. Here is a look at the overall admissions rate for in-state students in 2010:

— UCLA: 22.7%
— Berkeley: 25.8%
— San Diego: 37.9%
— Irvine: 45.2%
— Santa Barbara: 45.5%
— Davis: 46.3%
— Santa Cruz: 63.8%
— Riverside: 75.9%
— Merced: 88.6%

UC officials are well aware of the challenges for in-state students, regardless of their grades. The nine-school system admitted a record 80,289 freshmen in 2012, a 3.6% increase from 2011.

The main entrance at University of California, Santa Barbara.

The main entrance at University of California, Santa Barbara.

But the budget crunch makes admissions difficult for California high school students, with overall admissions dropping to 65.8% for in-state students in fall 2012, compared to 69.7% a year earlier.
A dramatic 43.3% increase of offers of admissions to international and out-of-state students took many of those slots in fall 2012. Eight of the nine universities admitted more international and out-of-state students in 2012, with a record 18,846 of those students in fall 2012 from 13,144 in fall 2011. Only UC Berkeley did not gain more international or out-of-state students.
Please note, just because students are admitted does not mean they accept and attend the schools.

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Linkedin