We did the likes-attract post yesterday with a bunch of charts showing comparative patterns at comparative schools.
Let’s keep going in that vein. We talked yesterday about the Stanford/Berkeley pattern and let’s go back to that again, since California is a lovely place to be dreaming about, given how cold and snowy it is in so many other parts of the world right now.
It may be the Bay Area (geography) that’s drawing BSers to Stanford and Berkeley, but it’s not necessarily California that’s a top priority in the bschool selection game — at least, it hasn’t consistently been so. Take a look at this:
There seems to be a correlation between UCLA and UC-Berkeley, which you’d sorta expect – both University of California schools after all. You could assume they both might attract a similar audience. But what happened there in those middle years in this chart where UCLA’s applicants slip-slided away for awhile?
We were asked exactly that by the intrepid AG in a comments discussion last week and we can attest for one possible cause: UCLA had a required fourth essay that was introduced in the 2008-09 admissions cycle where you had to record a 1-minute audio or video segment to submit with your app. They allowed you to do a 250-word essay instead but the wording of the question may have made BSers think that the audio/video thing was strongly preferred by the adcom… and they decided to skip UCLA entirely. At least, we’ve heard that some of the admissions folks there thought this could’ve been a factor. They did away with the multimedia stuff entirely – you’ll find no trace of any such thing in their current-season application – and their app volumes have since recovered remarkably.
We’re not convinced that this was the only thing going on at Anderson; we have a few other theories too. Anything come to mind for you? Please share your ideas in the comments.