parchment.com is a website that allows prospective undergraduate students to apply to multiple universities with the same forms. It also keeps track of who is admitted where, and what their final choice is. We show how that works out for a few California Universities.
For those admitted to UC Berkeley and Stanford, 82% chose Stanford.
For those admitted to UCLA and other Universities, the choices were:
For those admitted to UC Irvine and other Universities, students chose:
For those admitted to USC and other Universities, students chose:
For those admitted to Stanford and other Universities, students chose:
U. Chicago 37%
It seems that students have a ranking of Universities similar to national rankings, and make their choices along such lines.