Universities take to St. Matthias students

DOWNEY - Despite budget cuts that required the University of California to offer admission to fewer students this year, 15 St. Matthias High School seniors out of a class of 87 received a total of 38 acceptance letters to UC campuses.Of the 15, 12 are UC-bound in the fall: Nancy Martinez (UC Berkeley); Sally Soltero (UC San Diego); Genesis Bautista, Natalie Herrera and Arcylizet Iniguez, UCLA; Cynthia Gutierrez, Norma Martinez and Jessica Rubalcava, UC Santa Barbara; and Adriana DeAnda, Ana Godinez, Melissa Martinez and Graciela Soria, UC Riverside. The UC system admitted 72.5 percent of California freshmen applicants, the lowest rate in 10 years. UC regents decided in January to reduce enrollment by 6 percent at the Davis, Irvine, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz campuses, while Berkeley and UCLA remain the same, and UC Merced, the newest campus, continues to grow. "This was an exceptionally competitive year for admission to UC," Susan Wilbur, UC's director of undergraduate admissions, told the Associated Press in April. UCLA was the most competitive campus, admitting only 21.4 percent of California freshmen applicants. The 15 St. Matthias students represent more than 17 percent of the senior class. Nearly all were accepted by multiple UC campuses, including five by UCLA. Other acceptances came from UC Riverside (11), UC Irvine (5), UC Berkeley (4), UC Davis (3), UC San Diego (2), and UC Merced (2). St. Matthias High School, founded in 1960, is a Catholic high school for young women in Downey. More than 50 percent of its students receive financial aid in order to attend high school, and many will be the first in their families to attend college. "I am so proud of our students and how they embrace the mission of our school," said Margaret Meland, principal of St. Matthias, "especially how they choose to live out the values they receive through Catholic education."

********** Published: May 15, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 4