Guest Column: La Cañada High School seniors succeed at notable colleges, again

For nearly a decade, I have taken the opportunity to highlight many of the impressive college choices made available to the graduates of La Cañada High School. The Class of 2012 was no exception.

Of the 323 LCHS 2012 graduates, 98% have enrolled at colleges throughout the country and abroad, of whom more than three-fourths selected four-year colleges.

Last year, LCHS graduates were offered admission at highly selective colleges including 21 of US News & World Report's 25 top-ranked “national universities” and the vast majority of its top-ranked “national liberal arts colleges.”

La Cañada also continued its long-standing tradition as a top UC and USC-feeder school. Last year, 31% of the class was accepted by at least one UC campus and 14% of the class chose to matriculate. Only 3% of the 2012 class enrolled at either Berkeley or UCLA compared to 10% a year earlier, which was the highest percentage of Spartan matriculation to Berkeley and UCLA in more than 10 years.

USC accepted 42% of the LCHS seniors who applied — a total of 36 students, or 11% of the senior class. Of those accepted, 19 enrolled, including those deferred to the spring semester.

La Cañada's most applied-to universities in 2012 were USC (26% of the class) with UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego and UCLA each at about one-fourth of the class. Most out-of-state applications from 2012 LCHS seniors were to NYU, Oregon, University of Pennsylvania and Boston University.

LCHS seniors were most-admitted to UC Santa Barbara (13% of the class) and USC (11%). Among out-of-state schools, Oregon (5% of the class) and Colorado (4%) admitted the highest percentage of graduating Spartans in 2012.

Over the past decade, the top four-year college of choice at LCHS based on matriculation has rotated among Berkeley, UCLA, UC San Diego and USC. Last year was no exception, as LCHS seniors enrolled in greatest numbers at USC (6% of the class). The largest out-of-state enrollment was at Brigham Young University (2%).

A number of universities (with five or more applicants) accepted 100% of LCHS applicants in 2012 including Arizona, Oregon State, University of the Pacific, and several Cal State University campuses.

Science-, technology- and engineering-oriented universities actively recruited La Cañada seniors. Multiple offers of admittance were extended to last year's graduates by Caltech, MIT, Carnegie Mellon and other leading science, technology and engineering-oriented universities.

The number of small liberal arts colleges offering admittance to La Cañada graduates continues to grow from prior years. Members of the LCHS Class of 2012 Spartans were offered admission to Bard, Barnard, Bates, Bucknell, Carleton, Claremont McKenna, Colby, Colgate, Emerson, Hamilton, Oberlin, Occidental, Pitzer, Pomona College, Scripps, Smith, Trinity, Vassar, Wellesley, Wesleyan and many others.

In addition, many art colleges offered admission to LCHS 2012 graduates including Art Center, Berklee College of Music, California Institute of the Arts, New England Conservatory of Music, Rhode Island School of Design, Savannah College of Art and Design, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the School of Visual Arts.

Last year's seniors using the early action/decision process were accepted to their first-choice colleges including Cornell and Dartmouth.

LCHS students were admitted to a number of colleges at percentages greater than the respective college's reported acceptance rate including USC, UC Berkeley, NYU, Boston College, SMU, Emory and Vanderbilt.

The highly successful placement of LCHS graduates at many of the country's most distinguished colleges and universities is one of the most tangible measures of the quality and reputation of our local public schools and our graduates. Congratulations to all LCHS graduates and their families.

The Governing Board greatly appreciates the contributions of LCHS administrators, faculty, counselors and staff involved in the college selection process. Also, the Board recognizes the La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation for its financial support of the LCHS counseling department.

Note: This column was condensed due to space limitations. To see the unedited version, visit, follow the link from “Board of Education” to “Supporting Documents.” The first supporting document is labeled “College 2013” and is this column in its entirety.


SCOTT TRACY is the president of the La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board. He can be reached at

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