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  • Swati Chopra

Decisions for Class of 2024

Congratulations Class of 2024! Because you spent a good chunk of summer researching colleges and majors and applied early when and where it was possible - you definitely had good results. But, depending on who you ask, it's a toss up on whether this cycle was better than the previous two admission cycles.


The UC system - again - waitlisted and denied a lot more students than we care to see but the students who were admitted were some of the strongest students in their high schools. Majors always play a role in these decisions and this year, for my students, it was Computer Science and Engineering that seemed to be the most competitive and the hardest major to get into, regardless of their GPA and extracurriculars. UCLA confirmed that 20% of their applicants had straight A's and that number alone is more than double the number of freshman seats they are trying to fill.


UC received 206,893 applications for first-year admission, a 1.5 % increase from fall 2023. These are unduplicated counts of applications received systemwide at all levels and include both California residents and nonresidents.


Similar to the last three years, California State University campuses closed in around their local students so San Diego State University was difficult to get into again while San Jose State University took in many of my strongest Bay Area students - even in Computer Science and Engineering.


(The following information has been taken directly from newsletters and emails from the universities' admission offices)


Johns Hopkins University received over 38,100 applications this year, which was an increase of 26% from last year and admitted 1,749 students in the regular decision






Georgia Tech (includes all rounds)

Total Applications: 59,760

Overall Admit Rate: 14%

Georgia Admit Rate: 33%

Non-Georgia Admit Rate: 10%


American University - 18,624 applications and a 55% admit rate. The average GPA was 3.9 and average SAT score was 1370. 60% of admitted students applied without test scores.


University of Southern California received nearly 82,000 applications for first-year admission. This is a modest increase over last year, and the highest total USC has ever received. 

In their January Early Action round, they admitted just under 3,000 students. In March they admitted another 4,600 first-year students to the fall freshman class, and 1,400 to spring 2025. They will offer a space in the fall class to less than one in ten candidates.


University of VA Regular Decision Round

Total RD applications: 16,866

VA RD applications: 3,750

Out Of State RD applications: 13,116

VA RD acceptance rate: 15%

Out Of State (OOS) RD acceptance rate: 11%

Overall Admission Statistics for UVA

Total applications: 58,995

Total VA applications: 16,455

Total OOS applications: 42,540

Overall VA acceptance rate: 25.5%

Overall OOS acceptance rate: 13%


Hooray to Bucknell University for this level of transparency! - They received 11,338 first-year applications which is up 3% compared to last year and the second-largest pool in Bucknell history. The target enrollment is 1,010 (630 College of Arts & Sciences, 200 College of Engineering and 180 Freeman College of Management) and they anticipate that the overall acceptance rate will be around 28% with the acceptance rate in Regular Decision around 25%. The admit rates in EDI and EDII were about 67% and 38% respectively. Through Early Decision I, II and athletic recruitment, they anticipate enrolling 63% of the first year class. Lastly, 55.3% of applicants chose to be test optional while last year it was 54.6%. For admitted students, 43.6% are test optional compared with 47.2% last year.


Boston University - An estimated 60% of incoming freshmen are expected to come from early decision pool. BU received 78,750 applications out of which 6,850 students applied early decision this year. Overall, applications to BU dipped 2% compared to last year. Boston University's freshmen class size is approximately 3,200.







For our CA students, casting a wider net and researching colleges far and wide, definitely helped in the end. Even for those who wanted to stay in California, applying to in-state private schools as well as California State Schools helped achieve our goals and gave my students good, strong choices.


Waitlists - It's definitely a challenging situation for students who find themselves on the waitlists of highly selective schools. Waitlists can be unpredictable, and the uncertainty can be stressful for students and their families.


Financial aid plays such a crucial role in a student's decision-making process when choosing a college and the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) process (or should we say debacle?) has indeed complicated matters further this year. We're seeing a a delay in financial aid awards and that in turn is making it harder for students to make informed decisions about where to attend.


Colleges also face challenges when dealing with waitlists and financial aid. They need to balance their enrollment numbers while ensuring they meet their financial aid commitments. Any disruptions in the financial aid process can complicate their planning and decision-making.


For students on waitlists, it's essential to stay proactive and keep communication lines open with the schools they're interested in. Reach out to the financial aid office if you have any questions. We expect to see a lot of movement in the waitlists this summer as financial aid letters go out and students move around and that just adds to the students' stress.


Information from the UC Office of the President

Total applications Fall 2024

Total CA applicants

Total out of state applicants

Total applications Fall 2023

UCLA

146,250

92,290

53,960

145,882

UC San Diego

134,439

88,392

46,047

130,830

UC Berkeley

124,204

72,129

52,075

125,874

UC Irvine

122,661

87,517

35,144

121,074

UC Santa Barbara

110,236

75,523

34,713

110,861

UC Davis

98,834

67,912

30,922

98,834

UC Santa Cruz

71,697

57,503

14,194

68,820

UC Riverside

57,420

48,633

8,787

56,462

UC Merced

29,351

23,691

5,660

25,730

(While looking at this table, keep in mind that most of the UC campuses have less than 8,000 freshman seats). The number of students who were admitted this year will be known in the fall)


Class of 2024: Congratulations! Take your time and decide which school is right for you. Remember to check the enrollment deadline for your chosen university and make sure to enroll early. (Some universities are still keeping the May 1st deadline!) Enjoy the rest of the school year and have a wonderful summer!


Class of 2025: Good luck as you finish up your school year. It's time to get started on your college list and research majors. I cap my seniors so if you are interested in signing up for senior year, please reach out to me soon. Once I'm full, I will only be able to take students on a need by need basis.


Class of 2026: Make the most of your summer. If you haven't planned anything yet, there's still time to do so. Let's talk about what works best for you; whether it's test prep, passion projects, volunteering, or classes. Personal growth should be your goal.


Class of 2027 and beyond: I take a certain number of students every year and every year I get full sooner than the previous year. If you are interested in counseling packages please plan to meet as soon as possible so that we can make sure you are on the right track. The earlier we start, the fewer surprises we face!

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