Dear UCs: Please don’t reject me

May 15, 2023 — by Beverly Xu
Graphic by Beverly Xu
From 2019 to 2025, the chances of SHS students getting admitted into the UCs are dropping off — and in 2025, it’s my turn to hopefully not get rejected.
As an SHS student who once thought that getting into the UCs was a given, I’m now very scared to apply to them in less than two years.

In 2022, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that about 76% of Class of ‘22 Saratoga High graduates who applied to the UCs were admitted, and a considerable number were to the top two UCs: UC Berkeley and UCLA. This year, however, finding a senior that has gotten into the top two feels like looking for a Saratoga student who doesn’t have at least one engineer parent — pretty much impossible. Even though official SHS student admission rates are yet to be released, it’s clear that the UCs are no longer the safeties that SHS students used to rely on, years ago. And although more seniors have gotten into the other UCs, it feels as though the overall number of SHS admits has dropped across all of them.

For students who can’t pay the $60k tuition for many private universities, yet don’t fall in any of the financial aid brackets, the UCs are an enticing option for undergraduate programs. Unfortunately, admissions rates for in-state students have dropped to only 64.4% in 2023. Even though the UC system plans to give priority to in-state students, it is unclear how quickly and to what degree these changes will come into effect.

I have just one thing to say to my future admissions officer reading my essays: “Dear UCs, please don’t reject me.”

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