2015-2016 Commentary Student Life — 28 April 2016
Oakland High School: Many Seniors Rejected From Universities of California

By Katie Hin 

2016 is an upsetting year for Oakland High School seniors. This year, many OHS seniors were not accepted to any of the UCs they applied to. Many seniors were incredibly saddened and frustrated for the fact that despite having a UC qualified GPA, they were being rejected. Despite what the UCs said this year about accepting more California students, Oakland High seniors did not see evidence of this publicized increase of admissions.

UC applications were open on August 1, 2015, and were due on November 30, 2015. OHS seniors spent a grueling 4 months on the application process. The application requested many pieces of information from students including academic info and personal statements.

After 4 months of hard work and patience, OHS seniors spent another 4 months of waiting time and dedication, all of which went down the drain when many seniors found out that none of the UCs have accepted them. Seniors were especially upset when UC Merced and UC Riverside did not accept them since they were considered “safety schools”.

“The fact that I did not get into any of the UCs made me feel disappointed in myself,” said Oakland High senior Thuy Anne Pham. “It felt like the amount of effort I put during the four years in high school went to waste.” Pham had applied to 6 UCs. She was not accepted to any of the UCs she applied to despite having a 3.1 GPA and tons of involvement in extracurricular activities.

According to Larry Gordon from the LA Times, “The state is offering a $25 million bonus in state funding if UC increases the number of California undergraduates by 5,000 for the 2016-2017 year.” If the UCs increase in-state students. It is possible that UCs did not follow through on accepting more California students. And if they really did increase the amount of undergraduates from California, are the UCs specifically rejecting OHS students?

Mike Dang, a volunteer college counselor at Oakland High School expressed his thoughts on the low amount of UC acceptances of OHS seniors. “It’s crazy competitive this year. I’m especially shocked that barely any students were accepted to [UC] Davis,” Dang said.

Oakland High seniors need to take action and voice their concerns.  The UCs especially need to start doing their part by considering more California students. Or maybe Oakland High School needs to start offering more college preparatory programs and college courses that can help students be academically competitive to colleges. Whatever it may be, the educational system needs to provide more resources and opportunities for California students especially those from historically underrepresented schools like Oakland High.

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