Put merit first

Re “UCLA said yes. Now, the hard part.,” Column One, Feb. 2

As a UCLA student, I am disappointed that our school has chosen diversity over merit. Though Karina De La Cruz's experiences are not to be made light of, they do not compensate for not having the educational experiences necessary to attend a high-caliber university.

Admitting De La Cruz promotes lowering standards for those less qualified and punishes those who have achieved academic excellence by eliminating their opportunity to attend UCLA.

How can De La Cruz be expected to compete with students who took AP literature courses when she takes remedial English? By admitting students less able to succeed, the system fails not only qualified applicants but De La Cruz as well.

Katie Peterson

Los Angeles

A costly opportunity

Re “UCLA said yes. Now, the hard part.,” Column One, Feb. 2

My son had a GPA greater than 4.0 and higher ACT scores than De La Cruz, but is not a minority and fortunately had no hardships. He was not accepted to UCLA last year.

I recognize that the admissions evaluation probably saw potential in De La Cruz. In that case, the school should now assume the responsibility to help her succeed. It should have assigned her a counselor from the time of her acceptance, and should have offered academic resources that her family could not provide.

If public funds cannot be used because of her immigration status, there needs to be private funding. As it is now, she is set up for failure, and the university has done her a disservice. We should not punish our children for what their parents did years ago.

Karen Bonnici

Garden Grove


De La Cruz is spending hours on the bus and all the $10,680 she could raise to spend, at most, two quarters at UCLA.

She could have gone to a community college near home for $20 a unit, gotten the English support and other tutoring services she needs, and come out two years later ready to transfer to UCLA.

Kerrin McMahan