Berkeley MFE is not necessarily selective. They simply put much more weight on work experience than other programs. If you have some years of decent (not necessarily excellent) work experience, it is one of the easiest programs to get into.NOT AT ALL.
Berkeley and Princeton MFE grads are the most sought-after grads by top firms. Grads of both prestigious schools also enjoy the highest average starting salary offers. They're also the two most selective MFE programs out there.
For example, I know four Berkeley MFE alumni from 2011 to 2015, and most of them were rejected by other top schools like CMU, Columbia, NYU because they already had worked full time before MFE but had a mediocre GPA and test scores. Some were even rejected by Chicago.
Berkeley just has a different preference when selecting the candidates. That is why it “seems“ selective to people around you, but the overall admission rate is actually not as low as you think.