Thank you for taking time to learn about the UC admission application andreview helpful tips so that applicants can best present themselves.This presentation is for students applying for freshman admission.1


Before you begin, it’s important to understand the application process, andwhat should be done to prepare to complete the application.3

Fall Admission Application: Opens August 1. For other terms (winter/spring) go -to-apply/dates-deadlines/index.html Application Submission: between November 1 and 30. Applicants must meet the deadline; lateapplications are rarely accepted. December Test Scores: For ACT with Writing and/or the SAT with Essay tests (or SAT Subject Tests)exams completed in December, applicants must first self-report the test results by logging back into theirsubmitted application as soon as scores are received. Official December test scores must be sent to oneUC campus as soon as the scores are available; scores will be shared with all campuses to which thestudent applied. Admission Decisions: Campuses may begin to admit students as early as February 1, but moststudents will receive notification of admission via the campus’ applicant portal during the month of March. Waitlist Offers: Some students may receive an offer to be placed on a waitlist at one or morecampuses. If a waitlist offer is extended, applicants must respond by the stated deadline. UC campusesvery rarely make exceptions for a late response. Guarantee of Admission: In mid-April, applicants who were identified as being in the Top 9%Statewide or Top 9% Local Context (ELC) and met/will meet all admission requirements, but were notoffered admission to any campus at which they applied, will be sent an email message if another campushas space available to offer them a place. Statement of Intent to Register: May 1 is the deadline to submit the Statement of Intent to Register(SIR) (accept an offer of admission) to ONLY ONE UC campus for all freshman admits who received anoffer by April 1. Admit offers received after April 1 will include a corresponding SIR deadline. Waitlist Decisions: Early May to early July, campuses will notify applicants who accepted a place onthe waitlist of the final decision on their application.4

For Students: Begin preparing for the application now – don’t wait until November. Start by researching the campuses now so you know where you want to apply. Learn about the majors offered and all the types of courses needed to earn the UC degreeso you are fully informed about graduation requirements and can plan how long it may taketo graduate. If you are certain about the intended major, review the curriculum in the campus’ GeneralCatalog List of majors by disciplines across all nine UC du/counselors/files/undergraduate majors list.pdf Some majors are not open to freshmen applicants, or for every term. Gather materials that you’ll need: transcripts/academic records, list of current and planned courses,test scores, awards and honors, volunteer program timelines and hours, employment timeline andhours, etc. Brainstorm: take time to remember all the important things you have done throughout secondary/highschool, from club involvement, to volunteering, to athletics and leadership, and more. Your short answer responses to the personal insight questions are important. Write responses early and refer to online resources with writing tips and a worksheet (avideo is also available) to help you get started. Ask a trusted teacher, counselor, or other adult for feedback on each of your responses. All UC campuses are selective. Apply to different types of campuses throughout the system for yourbest chance of being admitted and finding a good match. Information on each UC campus can befound at: x.html. Campuses use email to communicate with applicants during the application process; students shouldcreate an email account (preferably one that identifies them instead of a “cute” or “non-distinct” name)and be sure to check it regularly.5

Applicants to UC should understand how their application information will bereviewed by the campuses. This section offers guidance on the importance ofthe information presented and how campuses will use the information tounderstand the context of the applicant’s educational experience.6

Requirements: All UC campuses have the same minimum requirements forfreshmen to ensure that all students are prepared to be academically successful atthe University.Selection: Selection is a process at each campus which is necessary when moreapplicants apply to a campus than a campus can admit and enroll. Each UC campusevaluates applicants beyond just their GPA and test scores in order to select theapplicants who are best suited for their campus.Applicant Pool: Who else is in the applicant pool? Applicants must remember thatthey are not just applying with students from their school and community, but alsowith students from all parts of California, the U.S. and from other countries, whosebackgrounds may be similar or different from their own. UC receives applicationsfrom students with a variety of attributes: those living in small rural areas, studentsfrom families with low and high incomes and communities that have high and lowcollege-going rates, out-of-state students, etc. Even if students think theirbackground or situation is typical (or not unusual) it’s important to explain (notcomplain) why, so UC admission staff understand the applicant better. Theadmission staff need more than just a school name or city to get a better sense of theapplicant.Each UC campus evaluates the application without knowing the status of the sameapplication at another campus. One campus will not admit or deny based on theadmission decision of another campus.7

Each UC campus has a unique application review process developed by its faculty committee. Eachcampus may place a different emphasis or value on the information in the application in theComprehensive Review process. ALL campuses conduct a Comprehensive Review. In general campuses look for: Strong grades & examination scores, courses beyond the minimum requirements, and insome cases, specific course preparation like advanced math and additional science forSTEM majors Involvement & leadership – “Well-rounded” doesn’t mean a student has to do everything, butwe like to see evidence of students being involved outside of the classroom in activities theyare passionate about – an inclusive educational experience Each applicant is reviewed within the context of his or her available opportunities: if a student doeswell compared to peers within the same situation (school, environment, etc.) and uses the applicationto explain that context, the applicant will provide UC readers with a better understanding of how theywere able to achieve/complete what is presented on the application. Each campus may differ on the relative weight (if any) accorded to any criterion Students should visit each campus’ website for the specific selection process UC looks for students who have challenged themselves in many ways: students are most successful atour campuses if they have shown academic promise through their courses/grades, test scores and otheracademic pursuits. We ask many questions as part of the application process so that we can get to know each student.Since there is no opportunity for an interview and because most UC campuses do not considerrecommendation letters, our goal is get a sense of the applicant’s life, interests and personality throughtheir application. Applicants may put themselves at a disadvantage if they do not thoroughly, accurately, and completelyfill out all parts of the application.8

To complete the UC online admission application, go to:

Students must thoroughly complete all sections of the application and do so accurately. This isthe students’ opportunity to tell the admission staff about personal details that make eachapplicant unique.Begin by reading the Statement of Application Integrity. Click on the link on the log-in pagefor the application, or go ocs/StatementOfIntegrity.pdfAccuracy of Details: Academic History: MUST be accurately reported--all enrollment, every school/college, allcourses and grades (even/especially if a course was repeated). If a student accepts anoffer of admission, UC requires official academic records to verify the information reported. “Additional Comments” box in the Academic History section can be used to providedetailed information or explanations about specific academic issues – declining grades,course selection issues, etc. Examination scores: report results for exams already completed and dates for plannedexams (including A-Levels). Activities/Awards: Applicants should not exaggerate or fabricate awards or activitiesbecause the information submitted is subject to verification. In fact, UC does verify information that students report on the application. It iscritical that students do not misrepresent or falsify information, as this is a seriousoffense and will result in serious consequences. Honesty is the best policy.10

Contact information --- including an email address which UC will use to communicatewith the applicant Students can also provide a phone number where they can receive text messagesfrom the campuses Family background information is optional but may be helpful for UC to understandthe context of resources and opportunities available to the student.Browser recommendationsThe UC online application functions with the following browser versions: Firefox v61,Internet Explorer 11, Chrome 67 and higher, and Safari v11.1.2.JavaScriptOur application uses JavaScript web page functionality. Please make sure JavaScriptis enabled on your browser.SecurityBecause it's important to protect the information you provide, the online application isextremely secure — so secure, in fact, that older browsers are not equipped to handleour level of encryption. Please download one of the browser versions listed above toensure maximum security. The application will automatically save information when “next”, “save & continue”,or “sign out” is clicked, but not when the browser is closed without clicking one ofthe three options. Also, there is a 30-minute inactivity period after which theapplication system will automatically sign off.11

Create Your Account New users must enter a unique e-mail address and password Applicants will use this same account if they apply again in the future If the students’ family has multiple applicants or has future applicants, different e-mailaddresses must be used for each applicant Passwords must be at least eight characters (and must have a combination of uppercaseand lowercase letters, numbers and/or symbols) Create a secret question/answer combination that will be easily remembered Be sure to keep login information safe Once “Create a New Account” is complete, an e-mail confirming the start of yourapplication will be sent Campuses use e-mail to send critical, time-sensitive correspondence to applicants, soprovide an e-mail address that is checked regularly and will be kept until enrolling incollege Remember to adjust e-mail filters to accept mail from UC addressesReview Statement of Integrity before starting the application Common questions/answers on each page List of Closed Majors: -apply/checkmajors/index.html Downloadable Undergraduate Admission counselors/downloadable-guides/index.htmlLog In First-time users start by clicking “New Account” On return visits, enter e-mail and password information under “Sign In”12

Navigating the Application The highlighted step on the progress bar shows the current section of theapplication the student is working on Each page has an “Inside This Section” and “Questions” area Use the “Next” and “Previous” buttons on the bottom of the page to saveand move through the application. Don’t use the browser navigation After the first step has been completed, “Start Application,” click on any ofthe top navigation boxes or steps in “Inside This Section” to move to thenext step or jump ahead Navigating to another page will save your work If account information (e-mail, name, date of birth) needs to bechanged/corrected this can be done in the “My UC application” section atthe top Click on ‘help’ for access to commonly asked questions and answers “Sign Out” stores the information entered13

Term: Students must select the term for which they are applying for admissionto UC.Note: most campuses and majors are open for the fall term only.Level: Students must select the appropriate level for which they are applying. A freshman applicant is currently in high school or has graduated from highschool, but has not enrolled in a regular session at a college or universityafter high school graduation (with the exception of the summer termimmediately following high school graduation). A student who has enrolled in a regular term (fall/winter/spring) at a collegeor university after graduating from high school should apply as a transferstudent.14

Citizenship Applicants must select a country of citizenship from the country drop-downmenu. Those who choose a country other than the United States will have followup questions on permanent residency and/or visa status.Undocumented Students For country of citizenship, select “No Selection” and do not enter a socialsecurity number.Social Security Number (SSN) All applicants who have a social security number (SSN) are required toenter it. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Enter a valid SSN, SSN for work purposes, or ITIN if available.Otherwise, leave it blank. If an applicant does not have an SSN, he/she may skip that item. We use the SSN to accurately and reliably merge test scores and thefederal financial aid application with the admission application. SSN, SSN for work purposes and ITIN numbers are encrypted and keptsecure.15

Choosing a Major Applicants must select a major for each campus to which they are applying. The online application displays which majors are open/closed to the specific applicant level. Hovering over colleges/majors may display additional information (e.g. For “major closed,” itmeans that the major is only open to transfer students and the applicant should apply to adifferent major). Example: At UC Berkeley, freshmen cannot apply directly into the Haas School ofBusiness – select the College of Letters and Science with an undeclared or prebusiness major (for either option your application will be reviewed in the sameway). Example: At UC Los Angeles, freshmen cannot apply directly to theCommunication Studies major--select the College of Letters and Science with anundeclared major. These programs (and others like them at other UC campuses) are only open tojunior level students. Students who enroll at the University can apply for admissioninto the major program during their sophomore year of college. Select an alternate major, if available (the choice for an alternate major is not available atevery campus), or select “No Alternate Major” at the bottom of the list. If a campus is unable to offer the applicant a place in the first-choice major, theymay consider them for an alternate major—be sure the alternate major is in asubject area that the student really wants to study (and in some cases, it should bein a different area of study than the primary major).After selecting major/alternate major, scroll to bottom of the page and click “Next”.Repeat steps for each campus selected.If most of the majors are closed, it may be that the student has selected the incorrectapplicant level or the filing period has ended.16

San Diego Colleges If a student is applying to UC San Diego, they must rank the colleges inorder of preference to have the best chance of assignment to the college oftheir choice The order of ranking of colleges does not affect the chances for admissionto UC San Diego Boxes to rank the colleges only appear once the student clicks the “Learnabout UCSD colleges” link (opens a pop up window). Students shouldcarefully read the information provided to understand the “theme” of eachcollege at UC San Diego17

All UC campuses offer scholarships for students who meet specific criteria. The applicant should review each scholarship choice and select up to 16scholarships that match their characteristics, interests, and background. Research other campus-based scholarships in the link provided at thebottom of the screen - Learn more: Undergraduate scholarships18

Family Size and Income Information about a student’s parent(s)/legal guardian(s)’ education,income, and family size is used to provide contextual information about thehome environment and to determine eligibility for the application fee waiver. This information is not used to determine residency status or eligibility forfinancial aid.19

Students should have all transcripts (academic records) from all schools theyhave attended since the ninth grade. The courses/grades entered must matchexactly the official academic record.20

Seventh/Eighth Grade 7th & 8th grade courses do not need to appear on the high school transcript Math and Language other than English (LOTE) are the only subject areasthat can be met by course work in middle school UC will accept a geometry course completed in middle school.21

High Schools Attended Select a location – “In California”, “U.S. (not CA)” or “Outside the U.S.” If applicable, indicate specialized curriculum/year-round information Start typing the name of the school. After three characters, matchingschools will begin to appear As more characters are entered, the match will become refined Select school name/code/location, click “Add” If no matches are present, complete typing the full name of the school andclick “Add” Remember to list every school attended beginning with 9th grade, even if 9thgrade was considered “middle school” NOTE: Students will be asked for information on college/universityattendance while in high school later in the application22

High School Attendance (continued) Enter the dates of attendance If this is same school the student is going to graduate from, enter thecertificate/diploma information Enter the grading and term system for the school [multiple term systemsmay be selected for one school] Click “Add” to save the information The school information entered will appear in a table for edit/review23

High School Coursework Courses are selected or entered by grade level beginning with ninth grade First select the Subject Area/Course Category of the course to be entered (e.g. English,Math, etc.) Next, if a student is enrolled in a California high school, select from the course list for theschool To see the courses, expand each subject area NOTE: new California high school courses being offered for the first time in thesenior year may not appear on the school’s course list until Nov. 1; if you don’t seea new course on the list, remember to come back to add it later before submittingthe application.For students not enrolled in a California high school, manually enter the courses as theyappear on the student’s academic record. See the next slide for further information. When entries for each grade level are complete, click “Next” to save and continueRepeat this process for each grade level, including 12th grade12th grade course grades will default to “IP – In Progress” and “PL – Planned”. If you havealready graduated and have senior year grades, you must manually enter each grade.For courses that are only one semester long, select “No Course” for the term for which thecourse was not offered (e.g. Economics offered fall term, for spring term enter “No Course”)Include all original courses/grades and enter repeated courses/grades for courses in whichan original grade of with D or F was earned and subsequently repeatedStudents who attended more than one school should be sure enter courses under thecorrect school24

For students who attended high schools in California –Self-Reporting Courses: If you do not see an A-G course that you took listed on theUC-Approved course list, you can self-enter the coursework.For students who attended high schools outside of California –Self-Reporting Courses: There is no pre-approved course list for schools outside ofCalifornia. Review the subject area headings for the required “a-g” course pattern: a.History/social science, b. English (for international students, the language ofinstruction for composition/literature courses), c. Mathematics, d. Laboratory science,e. Language other than English (for international students the “foreign language”), f.Visual and performing arts and g. College-preparatory elective (courses that not fitinto the subject categories of a-g above). Referring to the A-G Course List (adatabase of UC-approved courses offered in California schools) can provide guidanceon the types of courses that have been UC-approved. A-G Course List: all students: Courses such as physical education (PE) cannot be reported; only academicsubjects. In addition, courses/class periods for teacher assistant, yearbook andstudent government, may or may not be UC-approved courses. If they are approved,enter them. If they are not approved they should not be entered. An opportunity toenter these types of courses is provided later in the application.25

Colleges courses taken during high school If any college/university-level courses were completed while in high school,add the college information AFTER the high school information The process is very similar to entering the high school informationIf courses were taken at a California Community College (CCC), a UCtransferable course list will appear. Select the course(s) taken, grade earned (or enter IP for In Progress, PL forPlanned courses), and the “a-g” subject area in which the course fits. Only report courses taken for a letter grade; courses in which aPass/Credit/No Credit grade were earned should not be included Only non UC-transferable English and math courses can be reported in thissection of the application. If there are other CCC courses that are not UC-transferable, reportthem in the Non a-g Coursework area later in the application. IF college/university courses were not taken at a CCC, enter each courseand grade earned as it appears on the official academic record from thecollege/university attended.Students must enter all courses taken; missing/inaccurate informationmay be viewed as falsification and result in cancellation of theapplication.26

Admission staff look at this section for an explanation of abnormalities in astudent’s academic record, such as a break in attendance or poor grades in aparticular course or year, or for specific information about the schoolenvironment/policies that affect the academic record and/or choices forclasses.27

There are six categories in the Activities and Awards section of the application, each limited to five entries. Choose experiencesthat have meaning, illustrate interests, and/or demonstrate leadership. These are just a couple of examples of the questions intwo of the categories. Coursework Other than A-G - Academic courses that do not fit in the “a-g” categories of history/social science, English,math, laboratory science, language other than English (foreign language), and/or visual and performing art should be reportedin this section. Examples include leadership courses or religion courses. Do not include non-academic courses, such as PE,office/teacher assistant, etc. Educational preparation programs – Programs include but are not limited to: AVID, Upward Bound, and Gear Up. A list ofcommon programs appear in a drop-down menu. If a program is not included, manually enter it. Community Service – Consistent participation over time may indicate commitment and dedication. Work Experience – Demonstrates time management, responsibility and perhaps leadership. Awards & Honors – Awards which are significant in nature – county-wide, state-wide and national - indicate a high level ofachievement with significant competition. School-based awards are more meaningful to readers if context is provided, suchas “5th place out of 500 students” to earn award, but even “perfect attendance” can be insightful. Extra Curricular Activities –Continued participation over time indicates passion, commitment, and sometimes leadership.Enter details about each activity.Use the Worksheet in the Quick-start guide for applying to UC brochure. For California students (U.S. citizens and permanent residents): les/applyonline-freshman-cal.pdf For Out of State students (U.S. citizens and permanent residents): les/applyonline-freshman-out-of-state.pdf For International students (non U.S. citizens on with a Visa (or planned Visa) fActivities & Awards Tips: Don’t use acronyms for names of clubs or awards: Spell them out and explain your level of involvement. Don’t list the same activity in multiple areas (for instance listing Honors Society in “Awards and Honors” and “ExtracurricularActivities”), but make sure the most important activities are reflected in some way. If an applicant did not have the time/opportunity to participate in school and/or community activities, volunteer/paidemployment, explain to application readers why – how else did the applicant use their time and was it a choice or arequirement, for example: caring for siblings, elder-care, commitment to doing homework (research projects, papers, etc.).We understand that students are gaining valuable life experience and consider that as part of our comprehensive review.28

ACT with Writing and/or SAT with Writing/Essay scores must be completed by December of thesenior year (last year of secondary school). Report completed test(s) with date(s)/scores or planned test date(s) on the admissionapplication. If an examination was completed more than once, enter highest composite/total score froma single sitting. SAT Subject tests: Are not required but may be recommended for specific programs at somecampuses as an additional piece of information to consider during the review process. SAT Subject Test Recommendations can be found ts/index.html UC does not recommend that applicants use the College Board’s Score Choice function because itmight delay delivery of test scores. We strongly encourage students to report all official scores although we only use the highest score ata single sitting for admission consideration. Official SAT/ACT/SAT Subject Tests examination scores can be submitted to just one campus towhich the student will be applying. Scores will be disseminated to all campuses to which the studentapplied. If official scores are/were sent to UC prior to an applicant filing an admission application, please notethat the UC system office maintains scores received for three years. For example, if official scoreswere submitted for an examination date in the student’s sophomore year, the UC system office willstill have those scores when the student applies during their senior year.29

In the Test Score section, students report results of their AP, IB, and TOEFL/IELTSexams, if applicable.International students can report their national or external examination results as well.Advanced Placement & International Baccalaureate Exams: Scores can demonstrate academic mastery in individual subjects and be used tosatisfy freshman admission subject requirements not satisfied with coursework. Scores must be self-reported on the application. Don’t worry about “low” scores,UC treats them as neutral but does acknowledge an attempt was made. Official AP/IB scores are not required until after a student has accepted an offer ofadmission; do not send scores at the time of application submission.TOEFL/IELTS Exams: Official TOEFL scores can be submitted to ONE UC campus and the scores will beshared with all campuses to which the applicant applies. NOTE: IELTS scoresmust be sent to each campus.” Official TOEFL/IELTS score report must be submitted no later than January.30

The personal insight questions are an integral part of the UC admissionapplication. It is not reviewed as a stand-alone part of the application. Theseare short answer responses about the applicant, not an essay.The content of the personal insight responses should add clarity, richness, andmeaning to the information presented in other parts of the UC application,enabling the admissions officer to form the best impression of the applicant.The personal insight responses must be about and completed by theapplicant.31

Students should answer the questions that are most applicable to them. Remember that these are personal insight questions—about the student. It is not an English essay. Admission staff want to learn what the student did and why; what thestudent learned and how the student applied what was learned toaspects of their life. Students should use “I” statements – I did this, I chose to do that, Ilearned about . . . . It’s their one opportunity to ensure we get to knowthem. More details and guidance on the Personal Insight Questions can be foundat -apply/personalquestions/fr

college-going rates, out-of-state students, etc. Even if students think their background or situation is typical (or not unusual) it’s important toexplain (not complain) why, so UC admission staff understand the applicant better. The admission staff need more than just a sc