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The Most Challenging Public University to Get into in 2021

“UCLA received the most applications in its history in fall 2021…”

We received news recently that we got another student into possibly the hardest public university to get into these days.  Interestingly, it wasn’t the toughest when I was growing up.  With that said, this university is where hundreds of thousands are applying to every year (these days).

UCLA is almost as tough as an Ivy League

The University of California, Los Angeles is more difficult to obtain admissions than the traditional top public University, UC Berkeley.  There’s been a surge of applications in recent yearsAlmost 168,000 students applied for regular and transfer admissions for the fall of 2021.  This is 50,000+ more than applied for UC Berkeley — what many have considered the best public University in the United States for years.

A few reasons for the larger influx of applicants include:

  • Freshman applications from African Americans and Latinos increased by 48% and 33% respectively since 2020, according to the Newsroom. American Indian Freshman applicants grew by 16%, while Pacific Islander Freshman applications grew by around 34%.
  • UCLA’s outreach efforts and partnerships with organizations and high schools in underserved communities contributed to the increase in the application pool…
  • The removal of standardized testing as an admissions requirement also contributed to the increase in applicants

UCLA Admissions Rate is lower than Top Private Liberal Arts Programs

Comparing the admissions rates and Freshman Class sizes to other Top Public Universities, it appears UCLA may be the toughest:

Frankly, UCLA is harder to get into than some of the best known universities in the world including:

  • Carnegie Mellon
  • NYU
  • Emory
  • Harvey Mudd
  • Williams
  • or Wellesley

And who said that the popularity of higher ed is waning?