Mar 22, 2010

California Applications Skyrocket at Local Colleges

Reversing centuries of westward migration, California high school students have begun to look “east” for postsecondary educational opportunities. According to the Silicon Valley Mercury News, what started as a small group of pioneers has snowballed into a gold rush of talent as California’s college-bound seniors seek alternatives to the cash-poor University of California and California State University systems.

And where do they go? If application numbers are any indication, California students are definitely considering east coast schools including many in the DC area.

This year, the University of Virginia experienced a 24 percent uptick in California applications. By comparison, UVa’s total applicant pool climbed by only 4 percent. And California now ranks right behind Virginia in volume of applications received by Washington and Lee University. Four years ago, W&L received 159 applications from California. In 2010, the number shot up to 472.

Catholic University dean of admissions, Christine Mica, reports that California applications to CU have gone up 60% in five years. “We do send an admissions counselor to California each year for about two weeks,” said Dean Mica. “We have heard that families are worried that the budget impact on state schools in California will have a negative affect on the number of students those schools admit.”

The Public Policy Institute of California warns that the state’s knowledge-based economy cannot afford to lose its top students. “It’s a bad idea to have some of your most talented high school graduates leaving the state to go to college elsewhere—because it is less likely that they’ll come back to California once they leave,” said Hans Johnson of the Public Policy Institute in a statement to the Mercury News. “We need more college graduates to help build our economy.”

Californians applied in droves this year to:

Arizona State University: +24%
Catholic University: +25%
Colgate University: +15%
College of Wooster: +38
Swarthmore College: +16%
University of Delaware: +36
University of Pennsylvania: +22%
University of Virginia: +24%
University of Washington: +22%
Villanova University: +34%

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