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Monday, September 24, 2012

Updated Fall 2013 Admissions News from UC Counselor Conference

This just in:

SFMom3 came back from the UC Counselor's Conference at UC Santa Barbara last 9/22/12. All nine Admissions Directors from every UC campus were there and spoke. Here are some notes I took that they seemed to point-out and emphasize (in bullet points).

1. Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC)
  • As like last year, UC Merced will be the only UC campus that will for sure guarantee admission under ELC, if you are top 9% of your class.
  • ELC will not guarantee admission to your first choice school (unless it's UC Merced), but will be considered "added value" to your application. That is, it is considered a "plus" on your application. You will know if you are considered ELC under the UC guidelines when you apply and a note will pop up stating you are ELC on your online application.  No ELC identification numbers will be given out this year, as done in previous years.
  • Top 15% Letters - Some students will receive a letter from UC stating they are "the top 15% of their class and we encourage you to apply." Note: This may be considered a hint that you are ELC status; however, you will not get an ELC number. Letters are sent to students whose high schools submitted their top 15% transcripts of students. 
  • Click here for more info on ELC: http://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/counselors/q-and-a/local/index.html
2. SAT Subject Test are not required except for some majors     
3. Personal Essay notes from an actual UC Admissions Reader
  • Tell what you learned from your experiences, hardships, challenges and/or struggles -  What did you do, how did you apply it to your life, what did you learn as a result?
  • More importantly, how are you going to continue your interests/passions in college and in your community? UCs consider leadership a big part of their admissions decisions. Leadership does not necessarily mean being student body president (because, let's face it, only one person can do that.) Leadership is also considered as one who has to babysit, take care, feed, walk home their younger sibling-- taking the role as an adult to help the parents out.
4. Take challenging courses, especially in senior year
  • UCs are aware how many AP classes your high school offers. If your high school offers 12 AP classes, and you only took 2, you need to explain that. If your high school offers 4 AP classes, and you took 5 or more (meaning you went outside your school and took community college courses on your own to further challenge you), UCs want to hear that. That is considered a plus in your application-- taking challenging courses throughout high school, not cramming 8 AP classes your senior year.
  • When applying online in November, do not guess your grades. Have your official transcript ready and copy your grades from there.
5. Apply broadly
  • UC Admissions continued to emphasize to apply broadly. That is, apply to all UCs not just the top 3 as in Berkeley, UCLA and San Diego. Because of the competitive applicants (record number of freshman applicants for Fall 2012, and this is considered to rise for Fall 2013), do not rely on your dream school-- even if you have wonderful stats like a 4.3 GPA, SATs 1900 plus, leadership and volunteer experience. Apply to second tier schools as well. (Note: SFMom3 has emphasized this from the start).
  • Many students with great stats did not get into any of their top UCs (or any UCs for that matter). The competition is tough, so apply broadly.
6. Lastly, a denial letter from a UC does not reflect an applicants worth, there just isn't space
  • To keep this into perspective, 72,000 applicants applied for 4,000 spots for UCLA; 62,000 freshman applicants applied for 4,000 spots for Berkeley; 49,400 freshman applicants applied for 4,500 spots for Davis; 60,805 freshman applicants applied for 4,500 spots for San Diego; 33,133 applied for 3,850 freshman spots for UC Santa Cruz.*
  •  Do the math, it becomes a numbers game. It does not reflect an applicants worth and ability to do well in college.   
*Numbers taken from UC Admissions Directors at the UC Counselor Conference during the "Campus Admissions Director's Freshman Updates" meeting, UCSB, 9/21/2012

Please feel free to pass this info on to your friends and feel free to post any questions in the box below. You will get into a college-- may not be your dream UC, but you will go to college!


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