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Los Angeles college acceptance rates fall for the class of 2018

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Over the past month, high school seniors throughout Los Angeles and its environs received news about their college applications. Yet for more students than ever before, the news was not positive.

Popular schools were more selective than ever during the 2014 application season, due in part to the increased number of applications they received from the class of 2018. With websites like the Common Application, which is used by more than 500 colleges and universities, it is now easier than ever before for students to apply to as many schools as they wish. As a result, it is now common for students to apply to upwards of six colleges -- all with one click of a button.

With a larger applicant pool and only so many spots to fill, students faced tougher competition. Two of Los Angeles' most popular colleges, UCLA and USC, reached new lows in accepted student rates. According to the Los Angeles Times, just 17.8 percent of USC's 51,800 applicants were admitted -- a two percent decrease from last year. UCLA applicants did not fare much better, as only 18.2 percent of the 86,000 students who applied received acceptance letters.

What does this mean for rising high school seniors? Students should be prepared to look beyond big-name colleges and universities when applying. Smaller schools like Loyola Marymount University are beginning to attract students due to their higher acceptance rates. With another large application pool anticipated for 2015, it is important that upcoming high school seniors look beyond name and exclusivity when applying to colleges.