DAVIS, Calif. (CBS13) -- Many high school seniors are still waiting to find out if they have been accepted into their favorite college campuses thanks to severe budget cuts that have forced public universities to increase the size of their waitlists.
Even top students with excellent grades and a strong extracurricular record are finding themselves shut out when trying to apply to University of California campuses.
Emilie Yonan was placed on the UC Davis waitlist even though she has a 4.09 GPA, a 1920 SAT score and leadership roles on her school's golf and lacrosse team.
"I was going through that in my head. I worked my hardest, I took my SATs 4 times, took my AP (advanced placement) classes, everything I was supposed to do," Emilie said, "but I guess it wasn't good enough."
College admissions counselor Bill Downing said Emilie would have soared into UC Davis just three years ago.
With budget cuts squeezing the university's resources, it now usually takes a 4.1 GPA and a 2100 SAT score to become a Davis Aggie, Downing said.
"I think Emilie is a great example of what's happening here in California. Here's a fantastic kid, fantastic student, did really well on her grades, wrote great essays," Downing said.
Last year, the UC system waitlisted 10 percent of their applicants. Downing said he believes the number will grow to its highest ever, around 15 percent.
With more cuts expected this coming fiscal year, public universities are limiting enrollment and accepting more out of state and international students to help increase their budgets.
Emilie said she would give California lawmakers an "F" for handling the state's budget and risking her dream of attending her father's alma mater.
"It definitely is a hard realization to come to when you think you're going in, and you should get into these schools, but you don't," she said. If UC Davis turns her down, she said she will most likely attend the University of Michigan.
Downing said waitlisted students should let their college know they still want to attend, send their most current grades and visit the school to meet teachers and admissions representatives.
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