Applying to the UC System

Posted by on Oct 8, 2013 in Application Process, Parents, Seniors, UC / CSU, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Applying to the UC System

Steps to Completing your UC Application:

Materials You Need: You will need a copy of your transcript, test scores, social security number (optional), CA statewide Student ID (for public HS students) and a credit card. In addition, I recommend going to the UCOP Doorways website  to see the course listings for your school. This will help you determine which classes should be entered for each A-G requirement and if the class is considered honors. You can also look at at the 2014/15 Freshman Application Tips and Tools for information, links and advice.

Understanding Comprehensive Review: Every UC school participates in Comprehensive Review, which means the admissions offices evaluate students on multiple factors. If you are interested in how each campus reviews applications and the factors they are considering, look on the Comprehensive Review Page for campus wide information and then click on each campus on the right-hand-side to see the specific information for each school.

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Brief December University of California System Update

Posted by on Dec 1, 2012 in UC / CSU | 0 comments

Brief December University of California System Update

Below is the direct text from an email sent to counselors regarding the UC process.

Here are a few reminders we hope you can share with your students:

  • Print a copy of the application:  Applicants should keep a record of the application ID number for reference.
  • Order test score reports: Freshman applicants should submit ACT and SAT test scores by the end of December.
  • To expedite the delivery of these test scores, UC does not recommend applicants use the College Board’s Score Choice function or Rush Score delivery.  Students should use the normal reporting method and can visit the College Board website for information on how to send score reports.  All official test scores can be submitted to one campus, as test scores are disseminated to all campuses to which the student has applied.
  • Update the application: Students can log in to the application to review and, if necessary, update their telephone numbers, email addresses, mailing addresses or SAT/ACT Test scores.
  • Await the decision: Each UC campus will notify the student of its admission decision, generally in March for fall freshman applicant or in April for transfer students. To read more about admissions decisions, visit http://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/how-to-apply/after-you-apply/admission-decisions.
  • Submit transcripts, after accepting an admission offer:  Transcripts must be submitted only to the one campus at which the student plans to enroll by the deadline date the campus will provide (unless specifically asked by a campus prior to the admission decision).  Transcripts must be received by July 15, 2013.
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Applying to a UC Campus: Things you should know

Posted by on Sep 25, 2012 in Application Process, UC / CSU | 0 comments

Applying to a UC Campus: Things you should know

On Saturday 9/15/12,  I attended the annual UC counselor conference which updates counselors on the state of admissions for the University of California. Although much of the information is the same from year to year, below are details regarding application preparation, eligible in a local context designation, sending SAT 2s and selecting a major.

When does the UC application go live and what can I do to prepare? The application will go live on October 1, 2012. You will be able to start entering your information into the application at this time. You will not be able to send the application until after November 1, 2012.

There are many things you can do to prepare for the application, including looking at the 2013/14 Freshman Application Tips and Tools which has great information, links and advice.

What is Comprehensive Review? Every UC school is participating in Comprehensive Review this year, which means the admissions offices evaluate students on multiple factors. If you are interested in how each campus reviews applications and the factors they are considering, look on the Comprehensive Review page for campus wide information and then click on each campus on the right-hand-side to see the specific information for each school.

What is ELC and how will I know if I am ELC? ELC stands for “Eligible in a Local Context” which is determined by your self-reported grades on your application. ELC identifies qualified students from among the top 9% of each participating California high school. To be considered for ELC, students must complete a specific pattern of 11 UC-approved “a-g” courses, earn a specific GPA or higher in the 11 courses and complete the full a-g pattern by end of the senior year. Applicants who meet the minimum course requirements and have a GPA that meets or exceeds the benchmark GPA for their high school are ELC. The benchmark GPA is created from the weighted, uncapped 10th & 11th GPAs from the last 3 senior classes. High school counselors send in transcripts every 3 years to determine the benchmark. The benchmarks are not shared with the public.

*** This year, when you submit your UC application, you will receive a message indicating if you are ELC or not.

What does ELC mean? ELC is a positive factor and just one of the factors considered in admissions. This past year all students designated ELC were offered admissions to a UC campus, 92% were admitted to a campus they applied to and 8% were offered admission to UC Merced, even if a student did not apply.

What if I am not ELC? MANY non-ELC students are still competitive for admission, so do not worry. Students may not be ELC, but still be in the top 9% of students state-wide. You can determine if you are eligible in a State-Wide Context using the UC calculator. Students who are neither ELC, nor the top 9% in the state may still be admitted to a UC campus!

A few weeks ago students and families may have received a letter indicating that the student is in the top 15% of their high school class. This letter simply invites students to apply to the UC system, it does not have any bearing on ELC. Students will not know if they are ELC until they complete the UC application.

Should I send my SAT 2 scores to the UC campuses? While SAT Subject Tests are not required, some campuses recommend that students vying for slots in competitive majors take the tests to demonstrate subject proficiency. The message was very clear at the meeting that students, who have SAT 2 scores, should send them in because if the scores are good, they may help the student and if the scores are not so good, they will only be held neutral, meaning they cannot hurt the student. Please make sure we talk about the issue of SAT subject exams when you come to your session and DO NOT SEND any SAT2s until we talk about your options.

Should I designate a major on the UC application? Every year students stress over designating a major or choosing “undecided” on the UC application. The good news is students can choose different majors at each campus to which they apply. The bad news is that each school in the UC system deals with major selection differently. The best thing students can do is go to the website of each individual campus to determine what role major plays in admissions. The school names below are hyperlinked to individual school websites for information. Below I have copied the wording regarding selecting a major from each individual campus.

For applications to the College of Letters and Science, Natural Resources and Environmental Design, no consideration is given to the indicated major in the review process.  However, for the professional colleges of Chemistry and Engineering, demonstrated interest in the major is also taken into consideration.  Furthermore, in the colleges of Chemistry and Engineering, Berkeley faculty in these disciplines have also asked that readers place added emphasis on sustained achievement in mathematics and science, and have indicated a preference that these applicants take the Math Level 2 SAT Subject Test and a science test (Biology, Chemistry or Physics) that is closely related to the applicant’s intended major.

Admission decisions are made based upon the qualifications of the applicant pool and the number of available spaces within each academic area:

  • College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences admits by college
  • College of Biological Sciences admit by college
  • College of Letters and Science admits by division within the college (Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies; Mathematics and Physical Sciences; Social Sciences)
  • College of Engineering admits by academic department


Students applying as “undeclared” or “undeclared/exploratory” are considered within the college/division to which they applied.

We also recommend that applicants indicate first and second choice majors when they apply.  If UC Irvine is unable to offer admission to all qualified applicants in their first-choice major, students who have indicated a valid alternate major may be offered admission in that major.  After enrolling at UC Irvine, students who wish to change their major must submit a Change of Major Petition.

For the College of Letters and Science, the applicant’s major is not considered during the review process. The Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science admits students by declared major, with more emphasis on science and math programs. The School of Nursing also places more emphasis on science and math programs and requires the submission of an additional supplemental application. The School of the Arts and Architecture and the School of Theater, Film, and Television admit students by declared major (within the school), and put more emphasis on special talents through a review of portfolios and/or auditions, which are the most significant admission factors for these schools.

Major is not a factor in admissions for UC Merced.

Does not discuss the use of major in the admissions process. The website does mention that students applying to majors in the Bourns College of Engineering and the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences are strongly encouraged to take SAT subject exams in Math Level 2 and either Chemistry or Physics.

The campus does not select students on the basis of academic major or choice of UCSD undergraduate college.

College of Engineering: Students are selected by major for all engineering and computer science majors. Only applicants with a solid background in advanced high school mathematics will be considered for admission to engineering. This includes high grades in all math courses through grade 11 and enrollment in pre-calculus or higher in grade 12. A student not selected for the first choice major will be reviewed for admission to a second choice major or undeclared major.

College of Creative Studies: Applicants to Creative Studies submit a supplementary application in addition to the general UC application, which is reviewed by Creative Studies faculty. Students are selected within Creative Studies majors only. Applicants not selected for Creative Studies will automatically be considered for admission to the general campus.

College of Letters and Science: Choice of major is not considered in selection except for computer science applicants, who are selected using engineering criteria (see above), and dance and music performance, which require an audition.

Admission to Baskin School of Engineering majors.  While all freshman applicants are considered for admission to the UC Santa Cruz campus under the campus selection criteria previously described, acceptance into engineering majors is based on high school GPA, courses completed in mathematics and sciences, scores on standardized tests, and/or the personal statement. Details can be found at ugrad.soe.ucsc.edu/admissions.

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