By Kendall Arlasky
The students at Lewis & Clark College represent 48 of the 50 U.S. states. With 38.09 percent of LC students coming from the Golden State, it is not surprising that the school’s admissions might be impacted by the acceptance rate of the California university system. There seems to be a correlation between the number of students the University of California (UC) system accepts and the number of students who come to LC.
“The way that the UC System changes their system’s policies and numbers could influence what students come to Lewis & Clark, especially from California,” Assistant Dean of Admissions Serena Ancheta said. “I wouldn’t say it’s the only reason or causes significant changes in our applicant pool.”
According to Ancheta there is no relation between changing enrollment rates at the UC schools and the amount of students that are admitted to LC.
“California is our best represented state,” Ancheta said. “It’s definitely a huge part of our population, so if the whole UC system changes that may change what happens at LC. But there’s nothing that says those are exact ties or exact connections.”
Some California residents agree. Charlotte Powers ’21 thinks that the appeal of the UC schools has something to do with the economic value of the UC school system.
“There is a major perk in being a California resident and going into the UC system because the tuition is a lot cheaper,” Powers said. “Also, California residents pay high taxes for the UC systems so it’s basically a high payoff.”
Despite valuing this aspect of the UC system, Powers said she knew what she wanted in a college and saw it in LC.
“I think a lot of students from California apply to both because it’s kind of a given: if you live in California, you apply to the UCs,” Powers said. “They are world renowned institutions. But I chose LC because of the academics and because of the size (of the school). I didn’t want to be just a number, I wanted to be recognized and acknowledged as an individual on campus.”
This seems to be a common thread for the California population at LC. Caitlin Chappell ’18 is an example of this.
“UC Davis seemed like an environment that pushed students into paths in order to be successful and not allow students to find their own path,” Chappell said. “LC felt like a place that would let me do that. I also liked how small the classes were at LC and the professor when I sat in on a class made an effort to learn my name.”
The culture at LC was also an important aspect for Chappell.
“I didn’t want to go to a big school with a lot of frat culture because that environment didn’t feel like one where I could be myself and be social,” Chappell said.
Even for non-California residents like Ben Bovich ’21 from Illinois , the differences between a UC school and LC was very apparent.
“The UC schools have a national reputation, but LC has a more individual reputation, which was more important to me,” Bovich said. “I think it’s the difference between advertisement of the college and personal experience of people who go there. It’s almost seen as a gift to go to the UC whereas people really get a lot out of their education here.”
Ultimately, for Bovich it seems to be more about finding a community than anything.
“LC is better than I expected,” Bovich said. “I assimilated so quickly and it feels like home. So I don’t have any regrets. I think it makes people happier to be in a more tight knit community.”