Record Year of Heartbreaks From UC Rejections

As the University of California campuses received a record number of more than 200,000 applications for fall of 2021, they also denied and waitlisted a record number of applicants.

Photo attained by road2college.com

As the University of California campuses received a record number of more than 200,000 applications for fall of 2021, they also denied and waitlisted a record number of applicants.

High school seniors made the choice of a lifetime as University of California (UC) campuses sent out their admissions and rejections. For some, they will be going to their dream school in the fall. However, when the campus notifications poured in during March, many applicants were floored. In a college admissions season like no other, UC campuses have rejected and waitlisted a record number of applicants.

It had been known that this year of record applicants, with more than 200,000 students vying for about 46,000 spots, was going to be more difficult than any year before. But as testing requirements were dropped, it seemed like a sign that more students would get into their dream school. Yet, because of the record applications, there were more rejections and heartbreak. The surge in rejection letters caused confusion from applicants who believed they surely had a shot.

This marks the question: What more could I have done?

Imagine having an impressive 4.3 GPA, a stressful amount of honors and AP courses and an overwhelming amount of extracurricular activities, and being denied or waitlisted at all but 1 UC school, and the school isn’t your favorite. This occurred to thousands of frustrated and hopeless applicants.

We have been told that UC campuses have denied a record number of students, but we won’t know the exact numbers of admissions data until it is released in the summer. However, it is known that the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) saw a rise in applications by 28 percent. Private schools such as the University of Southern California (USC) are reporting their lowest acceptance rates ever, with USC dropping to 12 percent from 16 percent from last year. In the Ivy League out-of-state schools, Yale declined to 4.6 percent, Harvard to  3.4 percent and Columbia to 3.7 percent.

The unusual school year during the pandemic has set a lot of challenges. With community service, sports and school clubs being put on hold for the past year, it has been difficult to build a resume and gain experience. How can an athlete be recruited when they haven’t played a game? How can you earn an impressive amount of community service hours when your community has been shut down? The pandemic has made it more challenging to set yourself apart from other college applicants, especially to be competing against a record amount of applicants.

In the end, you’re going to have more disappointment when there are this many applications, but there are different paths you can take. You can apply a year or two in the future as a transfer student, a route with a higher acceptance rate. The class of 2021 just took another loss. The first was the record number of applicants to UC campuses, causing us to compete against 200,000 people. Now it’s being in the year of the largest number of UC rejections.

Remember that no matter what school you’re going to, you’ll get the same degree. It doesn’t matter what journey you take, it’s about the destination and what you make of your experiences.

However, congratulations if you were accepted into your dream UC school; the rest of us will forever envy you.