Glenn Harless was one of 46,000 freshman applicants who received a rejection letter from UCLA on March 11.
Harless, a senior at Escondido Charter High School in Escondido, said he responded to his rejection with a string of expletives.
“Luckily, my parents weren’t in the room,” he said.
The straight-A student said he had felt fairly confident about getting accepted into UCLA. However, when reflecting upon the matter, he thinks he didn’t get in because he applied to a major he saw as very competitive: mechanical engineering.
“I should have applied as an easier major to get in,” Harless said.
UCLA was his top choice, but in light of the rejection, he will likely attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the fall.
After a record number of freshman applicants, UCLA accepted 25.3 percent for the 2011 academic year. Despite applicants being UC qualified, some might not have been accepted because of the increased number of applicants, said Vu Tran, the director of undergraduate admissions at UCLA.
Since fall 2007, UCLA has used a holistic application review process, which considers all aspects of an application, not just student academics.
“When I talk to students’ parents, I truly believe that the decision to deny them admission to UCLA isn’t a reflection of their ability and potential to be successful. Rather it’s a reality of hyper-competitiveness,” Tran said.
This year, UCLA had 61,516 freshman applicants. The university accepted 15,560 freshmen, and the total enrollment target is 5,250, according to a university spokesperson. Of that target, about 4,425 are expected to be California residents.
Alex Young, a senior from Davis Senior High School, also got rejected from UCLA. His 4.4 GPA and his 2360 SAT score were well within the normal acceptance range based on the fall 2011 UCLA freshman profile.
UCLA was not Young’s first choice, although he would have seriously considered it if he had been accepted.
Young’s application showed that he was editor in chief of his high school newspaper, played nine years of club baseball, and was a volunteer tutor at his local library.
But that was not enough to get into UCLA.
Still, Young has been accepted into UC Berkeley and has a regent’s scholarship to UC San Diego. Now UC Berkeley is his first choice.
“(I’m from a) first-generation immigrant family so I would be the first person to go to college in the United States,” Young said. “My parents are from China. Obviously they would hope for an Ivy League school, but they are happy with Berkeley.”
In January, Susan Wilbur, the director of undergraduate admissions for the UC, said the university remains committed to its historic mission of accepting all qualified applicants into the UC system.
With the growing number of applicants and increased budget cuts, the UC plans to find a spot for the 85 percent of applicants who are qualified by means of waitlists and referrals. Both international and out-of-state acceptance rates increased in greater proportion than that of California residents.
“We are increasing the domestic nonresident and international students at UCLA, not at the cost of California residents. That might happen at other institutions, but not at UCLA ““ at least not yet,” Tran said.
Further information about the UCLA admission profile, such as population demographics and ethnicity, will be released on April 14 in conjunction with the rest of the UCs.