For the upcoming 2017-18 academic year UCI received more than 100,000 applicants, a milestone for the campus, but a potential problem for current students. The more students that apply to a school, the more competitive it gets, which negatively affects the general learning environment of the university. Not to mention the issues that come with accommodating the larger number of incoming students.
It may seem like a more competitive atmosphere is necessary for universities, but it can create a tense environment that is not ideal for an educational setting. A good education is one that allows students to think for themselves but also collaborate with others. If a learning environment becomes too competitive, collaborative thinking is less likely. Students who only work for their own advancement will not contribute their ideas to others, academically harming themselves and their peers.
The scary question I now have to face is: would I have gotten into UCI if I had applied in 2017? It saddens me to think that there is a chance I wouldn’t have. Being accepted into universities with lower acceptance rates feels as if you won the lottery.
As The Atlantic argued in Why Elite-College Admissions Need an Overhaul, admissions aren’t about how high your grades are but rather how well-rounded and diverse you are. Someone rejected from a university might have had higher grades and test scores than a student who was accepted, but he or she did not join as many clubs or volunteer as often during high school. Other factors that come into play are race, gender, and location. There might be many disappointed students who were very close but didn’t make it into their school of choice because of how competitive the admission process has become and some schools’ necessity to fill a quota.
For those 100,000+ applicants to UCI, their journey has just begun. Out of those applicants only around 40%, a small fraction, will be able to attend UCI.
Aside from the intensely competitive nature, more students applying might mean more students getting accepted, and that’s where it becomes even more difficult. There would have to be more buildings for classrooms, more professors, and higher tuition to accommodate the surplus of students. The tuition hike could affect many students who are already in school and can barely even afford or survive economically as it is.
Although more applicants seems great and we feel the #UCIPride, we must think about what that implies. May the odds be ever in your favor.
Daisy Murguia is a first-year literary journalism major. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.