University of California (UC)



Requirements for Admission:

  • Meet minimum A-G requirements with a “C” or better each semester
  • Have a minimum 3.0 GPA in A-G courses
  • ACT with writing or SAT Reasoning test
  • SAT Subject Tests – must take at least two different subjects*
  • Personal Statement – Two separate essays totaling 1,000 words
  • Honors,  AP Classes, Awards, Activities, Community Service
  • Competitive Admission
  • Apply Aug.1- Nov 30 every year (application cannot be submitted until Nov. 1)

Choosing the right Campus:


  • Calculating your UC GPA
  • Tips on writing your Personal Statement:
    • Start early: Allow time for reflection, thoughtful preparation and revision.
    • Choose a topic for each essay: Look critically at the information in your application: your grades, awards, activities and work experience, family and income. Anticipate questions an admissions evaluator will have after reading your application. The personal statement is your opportunity to answer those questions.
    • Compose your personal statement in a word-processing program: Don’t type it directly into the application. This way, you will have the opportunity to print copies for review.
    • Write in a natural style: Present your information and ideas in a focused, thoughtful and meaningful manner. Support your ideas with specific examples. A personal statement that is simply a list of qualities or accomplishments is usually not persuasive.
    • Proofread: In addition to checking your spelling, be sure your grammar is correct and your essays read smoothly.
    • Solicit feedback: Your personal statement should reflect your own ideas and be written by you alone, but others–family and teachers–can offer valuable suggestions.
  • ACT Test
  • SAT Tests
  • A – G Courses:
    A. History – 2 years

    B. English – 4 years
    C. Math – 3 years (4 is highly recommended)
    D. Lab Science – 2 years (3 is highly recommended) Biology, Chemistry, Physics, etc., 1 biological & 1 physical
    E. Foreign Language – 2 years (3 is highly recommended) Must be the same language
    F. Visual/Performing Arts – 1 yr Must be a year long course (ex. Art 1 & 2)
    G. College Prep Electives -1 yr (e.g. Journalism, Computer, Psychology, etc. Does not include PE, ROTC, Driver’s and Health Ed.)
  • Keeping track of your high school activities, awards, etc.
    • Academic Awards since 9th grade (indicate grade level)
    • Honors and AP courses completed – also indicate those in progress
    • Extra-Curricular Activities (clubs, student gov., sports, etc. – include grade level and offices held)
    • Out-of-school activities (i.e. community service, church activities, scouts, performing arts, internships)
    • Work Experience (include both paid and volunteer work)

*Differences from current policy for Class of 2012

The new policy requires the same number of “a-g” courses and the same GPA as current policy. What is different is:

  • Two SAT Subject Tests will no longer be required for admission. However, students can still choose to submit their scores for consideration as part of their application, just as they do now with AP scores. The Subject Tests also may be recommended for certain majors.
  • All applicants will need to complete 11 of the 15 “a-g” courses by the end of their junior year. Currently, this is required only of students who are designated eligible by ranking in the top 4% of their high school class.
  • The share of students who are guaranteed admission based on their rank in their own high school class will grow (9% vs. the current 4%).
  • Fewer students overall will receive an admission guarantee (10% of high school graduates statewide vs. 12.5% now), but nearly all students who would have received this guarantee under current policy will still be entitled to a full review by their campuses of choice under the new proposal.


UC Appeal Process

Note: Remember that the appeal process does not guarantee admission; in fact, UC accepts very little students through this process (if any); but, if you can offer some new and compelling information or reveal error/information that was not mention in your application, you can give it a shot. I’ll advise you to first call the college and ask them if they accept appeal (and you can even ask why you were not accepted if you want to ask that question, sometimes they’ll share).  Best wishes. Sincerely, Bai

UCSC: Provides most detailed information: Tel: (831) 459-2131

UCD: Tel: (530) 752-2971 Monday-Friday, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

UCLA: Tel: (310) 825-3101

UCB: Telephone: 510-642-3175

UCM: Telephone: (209) 228-4682

UCR: Appeal Process.pdf Telephone: (951) 827-3411

UCSD: Telephone: (858) 534-4831    

UCSB: Telephone: 805-893-2881

UCI:  Phone: (949) 824-6703

According to UCLA: High grades received in the senior year, recently acquired awards, or an increase in activities are not a basis for the reversal of a decision.

More information about appeal here from:

If you are denied admission into any University of California, you are entitled to appeal. The Admissions Office gives you this opportunity if you believe that they overlooked NEW AND COMPELLING INFORMATION in your November application or if you believe that the application did not offer a full, clear picture of you.


  • End of March – Berkeley admission notificication
  • April 15th – encouraged deadline to turn in appeals packet (so that decision known before May 1st)
  • May 1st – absolute deadline as suggested by PASS


The first step in assessing your application for appeals is to determine what is different from you now versus you when you applied in November. The most successful appeals packets are those that showcase NEW AND COMPELLING INFORMATION that Admissions may not have seen in the first round of applications. This could include (but is not limited to) situations like the following:

  • Did you have low grades when you applied? Did you explain those grades in your Personal Statement? If not, then that would be “new information” to cover again.
  • Have your grades improved during your senior year, showing an improvement trend we did not see in the first?
  • Did you talk about personal situations that affected the activities you participated in during school or the grades that you got in class?

The Admissions department is mainly looking for you to report circumstances that vouch for the faulty parts of your application. These have tended to be emotional situations regarding family and personal development. Simply, what about you did you leave out in your application that would have helped us get a better understanding of you?

We ask that you assess yourself carefully. The ‘new information’ approach is really what has helped students have a successful appeals packet as it is utilized as a ‘theme.’ So please share this information with us. If there is no new information that you have to offer, then this appeals packet will be more difficult but not impossible.


THIS PACKET IS NOT NECESSARILY THE ONE SENT TO THE ADMISSIONS DEPARTMENT. It is a working packet so that our volunteers can assist you in finalizing your appeals packet.

Start working on the following:

LETTER OF INTENT– 1 to 1 ½ pages. States new evidence, why you are appealing, explains ‘weak points’ in your application and makes the argument that you are a strong candidate for the UC campus to which you are appealing. Address it to

I. FORMAT – address to:

Office of Undergraduate Admissions
University of California, Berkeley
110 Sproul Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720

II. INTRODUCTION – Sample: “I am writing this letter in response to my denial for the fall admissions. My name is ________. I ask that you and your staff please review my complete application once again and reconsider me for the fall admissions. If after this I am still denied for the fall, then I would like to be deferred to spring.”

III. REASON FOR APPEALING – Sample: “ In your letter you stated that you consider not only grade and test scores for admittance but also what the students have accomplished outside the classroom and how they respond to opportunities and challenges. However, I think you overlooked these accomplishments in my application and I failed to make them known also. Therefore, I have enclosed two teacher recommendations and a recommendation from my college counselor.”


IV. WHAT DID THEY MISS? – Sample: “After reviewing my application, I have come to the conclusion that I probably was denied because it seemed that I…”


V. WHY IS BERKELEY YOUR SCHOOL? – Mention other schools you were accepted to (it shows your demand) but emphasize why you are appealing to Berkeley. It is to YOUR ADVANTAGE to mention SPECIFIC PROGRAMS and PROFESSORS that you want to work with here at Cal, even if you don’t end up working with them later on. If you show your research and genuine interest in the school, they can see that you really do want to come here. NO “DREAM SCHOOL” stuff or “SOB STORIES”!

RESUME – Highlight any activities that strengthen your case but do not reiterate what is on your application from November. OPTIONAL part of packet if you have no new activities to list.

LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION – NO DISCUSSION OF ACADEMICS! START EARLY!!!!! GIVE AT LEAST THREE DAYS NOTICE! Get these from teachers or people you work with explaining why you’d be a strong candidate. Have 2-3, but more is better (not too many). TO YOUR ADVANTAGE IF YOU GET PEOPLE WHO UNDERSTAND THE CIRCUMSTANCES YOU WERE IN TO WRITE LETTERS. Also it helps if they’ve known you for more than a year so they can highlight your growth. Ask for OPEN LETTERS so that you can pick and choose which ones to send. Letters from family or Cal alum have no advantage unless they are written regarding the aforementioned circumstances.


PORTFOLIO – this could include news articles, letters of commendation, awards, etc. that would show your strength as a student


  • The appeals process is extremely informal. There are no exact rules but rather just patterns to follow.
  • By appealing, you are not necessarily guaranteed housing in the ‘first year guarantee’ that schools offer because your acceptance is determined after everyone has turned in their SIRs. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t get housing or that you can’t try other housing options; it just means that the guarantee is gone.
  • STILL SEND AN SIR (Statement of Intent to Register) TO A SCHOOL YOU WERE ACCEPTED TO BEFORE THE DEADLINE. In the event that you are not accepted into UC Berkeley under appeals, we hope that you still attend a college in the fall. What happens is you send your SIR to another school and if your appeals is accepted, you ask that they void your SIR (fees will still apply). WE ASK THAT YOU CONTACT EACH SCHOOL’S ADMISSIONS DEPARTMENT (the one to which you are ‘applying’ and the one to which you are appealing) for more information on that.
  • Remember, PASS is here to help you put the packet together and give you advice on how to approach the appeals process. However, please don’t assume that working with PASS on your appeals guarantees you an acceptance. We really try hard to help you get in but please note that our affiliation with Undergraduate Admissions does not mean we have direct connections to the Master Appeals committee. Through PASS, we are offering our knowledge in the appeals process acquired by helping students appeal for years.


UCLA Info:


    UCLA does not set aside space in our class for students who appeal admission decisions. Therefore, though all appeals are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, the number of decisions reversed on appeal is very low. We advise you to consider the following carefully before you decide to draft an appeal. Every denied application has gone through extensive reviews. Therefore, for an appeal to have merit it must bring to light new academic and personal information, as well as information pertaining to extenuating circumstances, that had not been present in the application—information that clearly shows the student to be stronger than had been earlier evidenced. High grades received in the senior year, recently acquired awards, or an increase in activities are not a basis for the reversal of a decision.


    Denied freshman applicants will be able to logon to our site (below) to submit an appeal between April 2 and April 15.


It is our usual practice to respond to appeals within three (3) weeks of the date we receive them. However, we cannot guarantee a response by May 1, the date by which many institutions require their applicants to make a commitment. We encourage applicants to consider all of their educational options carefully.


UCSC Info:

Information for First-Year Students Not Offered Admission (March 15, 2013)

Overview of UC Santa Cruz’s Selection Process
Frequently Asked Questions About the Admissions Process
Options for Freshmen Who Were Not Offered Admission
Appeal Information- Fall 2013 

Overview of UC Santa Cruz’s Selection Process

UC Santa Cruz received nearly over 38,000 freshman applications for fall 2013. The freshman enrollment target for fall 2013 is 3,500 students. This enrollment target is about 300 fewer frosh than the enrolled number from fall 2012.

Admission offers were made to students based on a comprehensive evaluation of their application, as set forth by the UC Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools, and our campus Academic Senate Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid. Applicants were selected following an extensive review process that evaluated the applicants’ academic achievement, accomplishments, and other information contained in their undergraduate application. Applications were reviewed for UC qualifications, completion of required college preparatory course work (a-g pattern of courses), required test scores, and demonstrated academic and non-academic achievements. The following 14 faculty-approved criteria were taken into consideration, although no fixed weight or fixed points were awarded for any of the criteria.

Criteria Used in UCSC’s Comprehensive Review

  1. Grade Point Average (GPA) – computed for all ‘a-g’ courses completed (10th and 11th grades), including additional grade points for UC-approved honors courses.
  2. Test Scores – best single-sitting scores on either the ACT Plus Writing exam or the SAT-Reasoning exam were considered. For applicants who took both the ACT and the SAT exam, the higher test scores (from a single sitting) were considered.
  3. Courses Completed/Planned – number of, content of, and performance in academic courses beyond the minimum ‘a-g’ requirements were considered, within the context of the number of course offerings at an applicant’s high school.
  4. Honors Courses – number of and performance in UC-approved honors courses, which include Advanced Placement (AP) courses, International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, UC-transferable college courses, and UC-certified courses at specific California high schools, were considered, within the context of an applicant’s honors offered at their high school.
  5. Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC) – students from California high schools who were identified as ELC (defined by the University of California) by being in the top 9% of their high school class.
  6. Quality of Senior Year Program of Study – determined by the type (honors or not) and number of academic courses in the applicant’s senior year, within the course offerings at an applicant’s high school.
  7. Educational Opportunities in California High Schools – an applicant’s academic performance was reviewed in relation to the educational opportunities within their high school.
  8. Performance in Academic Subject Areas – outstanding performance in one or more ‘a-g’ subject area (minimum of four years with superior grades).
  9. Achievements in Special Projects – outstanding work in one or more special projects in any academic field of study.
  10. Improvement in Academic Performance – recent, marked improvement in academic performance as demonstrated by an applicant’s GPA and the quality of their course work completed, in progress, and planned.
  11. Special Talents, Achievements, and Awards – consideration of special talents, significant achievements, and awards that demonstrate the applicant’s promise for making a positive impact to the UCSC campus community.
  12. Participation in Educational Preparation Programs – participation and persistence in academic enrichment programs, including but not limited to those sponsored by the University of California, was considered.
  13. Academic Accomplishments Within Life Experiences – if student has demonstrated academic accomplishment despite some personal circumstances or life experiences (as discussed in the personal statement), that an applicant has overcome. Life experiences might include (but are not limited to) disability, low family income, first generation to attend college, need to work, and other special circumstances.
  14. Geographic Location – defined by the location of the applicant’s secondary school and/or residence.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Admissions Process

How many freshman applications did you receive this year?

38,514, nearly 5,400 more than last year.

How many freshmen did you offer admission to this year?

We admitted 18,692 students to enroll a class of 3,500 students. Our enrollment target is approximately 300 fewer than the number of freshmen who enrolled for fall 2012.

How many freshmen did you deny admission to this year?

19,822 freshman applicants were denied admission.

Were UC-qualified students denied admission?

Since we are a selective campus, the majority of our denied freshmen met UC’s minimum qualifications.

How did you make your admissions decisions?

We employed a faculty-approved comprehensive review of the freshman applicants. Our selection guide is on the web if you’d like to review the different factors that we take into consideration. The guide is available as a link through the web site, or

Each application received an in-depth review by one or more professionally-trained Admissions readers. A final, single score of 1-5 was determined, with 1 being the highest and 5 being the lowest. Grade-point average and test scores accounted for approximately half of the score a reader determined. Scoring was in accordance with guidelines issued by UCSC faculty. Admissions offers were made to the applicants who received a higher score, within the constraints of the campus’s enrollment goals.

In addition to the selection criteria noted above, if an applicant had notified our campus of receiving a grade of D or F in any ‘a-g’ course in their senior year, that student would not have been selected for admission by UC Santa Cruz. All students offered admission to UCSC are held to earning grades of C or higher in their senior-year courses or their admission will be canceled.

Did you take any out-of-state or international students?

Yes, but all these students would have been held to the same selection criteria as in-state students, although the minimum GPA for a non-resident of California is higher than the CA resident GPA (3.40 vs. 3.00, respectively). In addition, most international students would be required to meet the UCSC English proficiency requirement.

What was the average GPA of your admits?

Our mean GPA for freshman admits was 3.86, although the GPA was only one component of our Comprehensive Review Score.

What were the average test scores of your admits?

Our mean SAT Reasoning scores were: Critical Reading 585, Mathematics 618, Writing 596, and Total 1799. Our mean ACT Comprehensive score was 27. As with the GPA, test scores comprised only one component of our Comprehensive Review score.

Does UCSC have a waitlist?

Yes. UCSC offered 2,573 denied freshmen the opportunity to be considered on a waitlist. All these students were UC-qualified. The waitlist is for freshman applicants who were not offered admission due to enrollment limitations, but who are considered excellent candidates for admission, should space become available later in the admissions cycle. Students who have this option have been notified by the Office of Admissions and will have to respond to UCSC by April 15 if they want to be on the UCSC waitlist. Being placed on the waitlist does not guarantee admission to UC Santa Cruz.

For more information on the fall 2013 waitlist process, please see the UCSC Fall 2013 Waitlist FAQ at

How did you select students to be offered the waitlist option?

These students were well-qualified (as determined by our comprehensive review), but given campus enrollment constraints, could not be offered admission.

Can I be placed on the waitlist even if I wasn’t offered that option?

No. Only the students who were originally selected for the waitlist have that option. UCSC will not consider any additional students for the waitlist.

If I was not selected for admission, may I appeal the decision?

UC Santa Cruz does not set aside space in our class for students who appeal admissions decisions. Every application has already been thorougly reviewed using our selection process. Although few (if any) appeals will likely be granted due to enrollment constraints, students who choose to appeal should follow the procedure listed below. The appeal deadline will be strictly enforced.

Options for Applicants Not Offered Admission

  1. Applicants who have not been offered admission at UC Santa Cruz may wish to consider the following options:
  2. All UC campuses offer a quality education. If you applied to another UC campus and have been offered admission, we strongly encourage you to consider this offer. Many of our applicants also have admission offers at a number of other excellent public and private colleges and universities.

UC Santa Cruz is committed to assisting students in transferring from a California Community College. At the transfer level, we give the highest priority for admission to community college students who present a well-planned course of study and a competitive grade point average, and who apply at the junior level. If, after considering all of your options for higher education, you decide to enroll at a California community college, we urge you to contact the Transfer Center at that college for assistance in planning a course of study that will lead to successful transfer in the future. UC Santa Cruz maintains a transfer admission guarantee program (TAG) with every community college within the state to ensure that you can earn your degree at our campus.

The University of California maintains a strong relationship of advising and articulated course agreements with the California community college system. A listing of transfer centers within the state can be found

A transfer center adviser or community college counselor can help you plan an appropriate transfer program that will allow you to complete your studies at the University of California.

Appeal Information – Fall 2013

To appeal our denial you must present new information that was not contained in your original application and personal statement. If there is nothing new or compelling, an appeal may not be appropriate. If your senior year grades have gone down, or if you have already earned a grade of D or F in any ‘a-g’ course in your senior year, an appeal will not be granted. If you are proposing summer session course work to fulfill any requirement, an appeal will not be granted. To appeal you must submit the following:

1. A letter of appeal addressed to:

Michael McCawley, Director of Admissions

Office of Admissions-Hahn

UC Santa Cruz

1156 High Street

Santa Cruz, CA 95064

ATTN: Appeals

The letter must come from you (not a parent or counselor) and should contain the reason(s) why you feel an exception should be made on your case. The letter must also note the courses in which you are currently enrolled (8th semester).

2. A complete transcript including 7th semester grades. An unofficial transcript is acceptable. A complete set of required test scores is also needed to review an appeal. Check the portal to see if all your official test scores are on file with UCSC.

3. A single letter of recommendation (optional) from a source who can speak to your academic strengths. Multiple letters of recommendation will not be considered.

All information must be received in one packet, postmarked by March 29, 2013. Faxed appeals or e-mail appeals will not be given consideration. Appeals filed by someone other than the student, or appeals that are incomplete, will not be given consideration.

Decisions will be communicated no later than the week of April 15, 2013. Students whose appeals are successful will be required to meet the May 1 Statement of Intent to Register deadline.


UC Davis Info:

UC Davis does not grant admission for a number of reasons. Learn why your application may not have met with success, and find out what your options are for entering UC Davis in the future.

The extraordinary size and strength of the UC Davis applicant pool means that many qualified candidates are denied admission. For fall quarter 2013, UC Davis received close to 56,000 freshman applications competing for about 5,100 available enrollment spaces.

I met the UC admission requirements, but I wasn’t admitted. Why is that?

Meeting the UC admission requirements qualifies you for admission to a UC campus, but does not guarantee admission to any specific UC campus. UC Davis uses a comprehensive review process to select students from its applicant pool. Due to limited enrollment space, applicants who were admitted generally exceeded UC admission requirements.

Qualified California residents who are not admitted by any UC campus to which they have applied may be offered freshman admission by another UC campus.

How did UC Davis determine which applicants to admit?

Comprehensive review is an admission process used by all UC campuses. It considers a broad variety of criteria to select the entering freshman class. Of these factors, the strength of an applicant’s high school academic record is the single most important component. Standardized test scores also provide important information about the academic background of an applicant. Other academic considerations include the number of “a-g” courses taken beyond the 35 semester courses, breadth of coursework completed, Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC) and a record of marked academic improvement from the 9th through 11th grade. Additional considerations include leadership, special talents and accomplishments, creativity, tenacity and response to life challenges.

At UC Davis, each of the criteria considered in the comprehensive review was assigned a score, with greater weight for academic factors. Specially trained professionals read and scored applications on several factors, while the remaining criteria were scored electronically. The highest-scoring applicants for each college, division or major are admitted based on the available spaces in the specific college, division or major. Available admission spaces vary each year.

May I apply again for winter or spring quarter admission?

UC Davis only accepts applications for fall quarter admission.

What options are available to me since I was not admitted to UC Davis?

You should strongly consider admission offers from other UC campuses or other institutions. You may also consider enrolling at a California community college and reapplying for admission as transfer student.

How can I transfer to UC Davis in the future?

Good news! You have an excellent chance of being admitted to UC Davis as a junior-level transfer student. You can even be guaranteed admission as a junior-level transfer by enrolling in any California community college and signing a Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG). This agreement specifies the classes you must take and the grades you must earn to be guaranteed admission as a transfer student.

While we consider junior-level transfer applicants from all colleges and universities, we give special priority to transfers from California community colleges. Attending a community college can be an excellent way to build your skills and prepare for your major, and it’s frequently a good way to save money as well. Plan to reapply to UC Davis as a junior.

If you plan to transfer to UC Davis, we strongly encourage you to work with the transfer center or counseling office at your community college to develop an academic plan that will prepare you for a successful transfer. See our transfer requirements for more details.

May I appeal my denial of admission?

Appeals are rarely granted. Consideration for appeals is based on new and compelling information, extenuating circumstances and your overall academic record. As part of your appeal, you must include a statement describing your special circumstances, as well as self-reported academic records, letters of recommendation (suggested) and any other documentation.

Please note that all appeals must be submitted online through MyAdmissions. Supplementary materials should be sent to:

Appeals Committee
UC Davis Undergraduate Admissions
University of California
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616-8507

No appeals received by any other methods—including phone, fax, courier or email—will be considered, and no interviews will be granted. After you have submitted your appeal, you will be able to view your appeal status online through MyAdmissions.


UCB Info:

The Freshman Selection Process

We realize that many students will be disappointed to learn that they have not been offered admission to UC Berkeley.  Unfortunately, the extraordinary size and strength of our applicant pool meant that many highly qualified candidates were denied admission this year. We hope that the following information responds to some of the questions you may have regarding our admission decisions and is helpful in understanding our freshman selection process.

Why was I denied admission when I felt that I was a very strong applicant?
Due to the highly competitive nature of our freshman applicant pool, thousands of students who had excellent academic and personal credentials were denied admission for fall.  Each year over the last decade, UC Berkeley has experienced significant increases in the number of applications received.  Because the number of freshman enrollment spaces has remained relatively constant, admission to Berkeley has become much more difficult.  For fall 2011, we received more than 53,000 freshman applications for approximately 10,700 admission spaces, resulting an admit rate of only 21%.* Our applicant pool included nearly 27,500 students with a weighted grade point average of 4.00 or higher — significantly more than twice the number of admission spaces available for our fall freshman class.  Unfortunately, this high level of competition meant that many very qualified candidates were denied admission this year.
How were Freshmen decisions made for fall?
All freshman applications for admission were read individually and each received a comprehensive, independent assessment by experienced readers. In accordance with UC Regents and Berkeley faculty guidelines, Berkeley’s incoming class was chosen on the basis of a complete review of all information, including the strength of high school course work and grades, the pattern of grades over time, rigor of the senior year program, honors and advanced course work compared to what was available at the high school, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Higher Level examination results, required test scores, other indicators of academic promise, participation and accomplishment in the performing arts and athletics, leadership in school or community activities, employment experiences, community service, personal qualities and characteristics, and likely contribution to the campus community.  We recognize that Berkeley applicants vary in their academic and extracurricular opportunities. Therefore, our assessments took into account individual circumstances and the context for academic and personal accomplishments, including the depth of curricular offerings available at each high school and personal experiences which may have impacted academic performance.
Who read and evaluated my application for admission? 
The Berkeley undergraduate application readers were a group nearly 100 professional admissions and student affairs staff, college instructors, high school teachers, and guidance counselors. After undergoing intensive training before the reading process began, the readers met weekly throughout the process to discuss admission cases. In some instances, applications were evaluated by a third, and sometimes by a fourth or fifth reader. We monitored our process closely to ensure that admission decisions were made in the fairest and most equitable manner possible, following the freshman selection goals and guidelines outlined in the previous answer.
Why was another student at my school admitted when I have a higher grade point average? 
It is important for applicants and their families to understand that our admissions evaluations encompass more than just an assessment of grades, test scores and other information that students may commonly share with each other. Our selection process includes careful review of the application essay, participation in activities both in and out of school, and individual circumstances that might not be apparent to an applicant’s peers.  Another factor which creates a perceived discrepancy between student qualifications and admission to Berkeley is the College to which the candidate applied. Some College of Engineering departments have specific undergraduate enrollment limits which make them especially competitive.
Was any group of applicants given preference in the selection process?
Yes. As a publicly funded institution, the University specifies in its policies that admission preference be given to students who are residents of California, and our eligibility and selection guidelines vary accordingly for residents and nonresidents.  However, Berkeley does recognize the contribution of a geographically diverse student population; approximately 23.8 percent of our entering class are non-California U.S. residents or international students. Factors other than residency status, such as ethnicity, gender and race, are not taken into consideration in the selection process.

I understand that for fall 2011, UC Berkeley has a waitlist. Why am I not on the waitlist?
The waitlist is for freshman applicants who were not offered admission due to space limitations, but who are considered excellent candidates for admission, should space become available in the current admissions cycle. (Being on the waitlist is not a guarantee of receiving an offer of admission at a later date.) Seven of the nine UC campuses – including UC Berkeley – have implemented a waitlist for fall 2010; each campus manages its own waitlist. UC Berkeley placed approximately 200 students on its waitlist. Students cannot appeal for a spot on the waitlist.

Can I appeal my admission decision?

We strongly discourage letters of appeal unless you can provide significant new information for us to consider.  Our freshman selection process involves a careful, individual reading of each application and it is very unlikely that we will choose to reverse our original decision.  If you do have significant new information to present and decide to appeal our admissions decision, please submit your request in writing, postmarked by April 15, 2011. Include your UC application ID number in your letter and submit it with all accompanying materials (i.e. seventh semester grades or a letter of recommendation) in a single envelope.  We do not accept appeals by telephone, fax or email. Log onto myBerkeleyApplication for your appeal decision.  Decisions on appeals may not be issued until after May 1.  Advise us of any change in your email address in case we need to contact you during the appeal process.  Even if you choose to appeal, we recommend that you do not delay accepting an admission offer from another college or university.

Mailing Address:
Freshman Appeals Committee
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
University of California, Berkeley
110 Sproul Hall #5800
Berkeley, CA  94720-5800

Can I speak with an admissions officer about my application for admission?
For reasons of confidentiality and because of the volume of applications we review, it is not possible to answer specific questions about individual cases over the phone or in person. You may call our Admissions Advising office at 510-642-3175 if you have general questions regarding the selection process. Or visit our website to use our virtual advisor, Ask Oski, which is available 24/7.

I never received a letter in the mail.  Should I be getting one?
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions did not send paper letters to students who were not offered admission. Because the overwhelming majority of our applicants prefer to learn of their admission decision electronically, we are posting decision letters only on our secure applicant website, myBerkeleyApplication.

*All Admissions statistics are projected and approximations

UCSD Info:

Admission evaluation process

  • Goal:
    Identify and admit students who are fully prepared to excel in the University’s challenging academic environment. UC San Diego seeks to admit and enroll a student body that demonstrates strong academic achievement and exceptional personal talent – students who represent the broad diversity of talents, abilities, personal experience, and backgrounds characteristic of California.
  • Application:
    At least 2 individuals review the admissions application, including the personal statement. Consideration is given for the specific factors, both academic and personal, used in the UC San Diego comprehensive review process.
  • Evaluation factors:
    • Academic achievement
      • Grade Point Average (GPA)
        One of the most important criteria considered is the GPA, including a maximum of 8 UC-approved Honors, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or UC transferable college courses based upon the applicant’s self-reported academic history.
      • Scores of all required exams
        • ACT Assessment plus Writing (scores must be from the same sitting)
          SAT Reasoning Test with critical reading, math, and writing
        • Two SAT Subject Tests in 2 different subject areas*
          • History/ social science
          • Literature
          • Mathematics (Level 2 only)
          • Science
          • Language other than English
          • All tests must be taken by December of the senior year.

          *May not be Writing or Math 1C

      • Number of “a-g” courses beyond the minimum
        Applicants who have self-reported completion and/ or enrollment in “a-g” courses beyond the minimum required for University of California eligibility.
      • Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC)
        Applicants whose transcripts are reviewed by the UC Office of the President and who have been designated eligible through the ELC program. These applicants are in the top 4% of their respective high school graduating classes.
    • Other factors
      • Educational environment
        A disadvantaged educational/ school environment indicates that the applicant attends a California high school that is among the 4th or 5th quintile of all California public high schools using the following academic indicators: high school completion rate, percentage of students enrolled in college preparation classes, percentage of students enrolled in Advanced Placement/ Honors courses, percentage of students admitted to the UC/ CSU, and percentage of students taking the SAT Reasoning Test or the American College Test (ACT).
      • Low family income
        Consideration will be given for applicants based upon family size and low income.
      • First generation college attendance
        Applicants for whom neither parent is a college graduate (2 year or 4 year).
      • Demonstrated leadership
        Extensive or recognized leadership roles in school and/ or community organizations/ activities.
      • Special talents/ achievements/ awards
        Noteworthy accomplishments in a public venue in visual and performing arts, communications, athletic endeavors, as well as demonstrated written or oral proficiency in a language other than the student’s native language.
      • Community and volunteer service
        Demonstrated and substantial involvement in charitable work or community service.
      • Sustained participation in academic development preparation programs
        Consideration is given for active and sustained participation in programs designed to improve academic achievement and access to educational opportunities. The criterion will be measured by time and depth of participation, and by the academic merit of the program. Such programs include EAOP, MESA, Puente, Upward Bound, AVID, and many more.
      • Special circumstances/ personal challenges
        Circumstances which may be a positive or negative force in an applicant’s life, and the applicant’s response to unusual challenges, will be considered. These circumstances may include, but are not limited to, personal or family situation, the student’s need to work full time, disability (physical or learning), veteran status, single parent household, foster care, personal growth, or life-altering event(s).

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Selection criteria for admission

  • UCSD is a very selective campus,with a national reputation for excellence. The campus continues to receive far more applications from eligible students than it can accommodate. Thus, applicants must exceed the minimum UC eligibility criteria.
    • UC San Diego received more than 53,000 freshman applications for Fall 2011.
    • There were fewer than 3,800 spots available.
    • Enrollment goals are established annually.
    • The campus does not select students on the basis of academic major or choice of UCSD undergraduate college.
UC Santa Barbara Appeal Process:
Appeal Process

Appeal Process

We regret that we are unable to offer admission to all qualified applicants. UCSB does not set aside space in our class for students who appeal admission decisions. Every application has gone through extensive reviews. (See Selection Criteria for details.) For an appeal to have merit, it must bring to light new information that was not present in the application—information that clearly shows the student to be stronger overall than had been earlier evidenced.Submitting an Appeal for Fall Quarter 2013

  • Send us a letter requesting that we reconsider your application. The letter must be written by the applicant.
    • Appeals received after the deadline may not be considered. Email or fax submissions will not be reviewed.
    • Postmark Deadline:
      • Freshman applicants: April 15, 2013
      • Transfer applicants: as soon as possible, before June 15, 2013
  • The letter must state the applicant’s reasons for appealing the initial decision. The letter should not simply repeat information that had already been presented in the application.
  • If the basis for the appeal is a changed grade or an incorrectly reported test score, provide documentation (e.g., a transcript or a revised score report) in the same envelope as your letter of appeal.
  • Include copies of all high school and college transcripts (recommended).
  • Letters of recommendation are not required. If letters are included, the limit is two.

Mail documents in a single envelope to:

Admission Review Committee
1210 Cheadle Hall
University of California Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-2014

We appreciate your interest in UC Santa Barbara.

Future Enrollment Options

If an applicant remains interested in attending UCSB, Admissions staff will be pleased to assist them in planning for admission to a future term, perhaps as a transfer student. We offer a variety of services throughout the year for students planning to transfer. Opportunities for individual advising, virtual college fairs, online chats, and in person events can be found on the Admissions web pages for Prospective Transfers and Virtual UCSB.

Please note: UCSB accepts only junior-level transfers and will give priority consideration to applicants from California community colleges.

UCSB has established transfer admission guarantees (TAGs) for fall terms with all California community colleges. Students should refer to the ASSIST website under articulation agreements by major between UCSB and their community college for more specific details. Also see Tag Info at UCSB.




We will consider appeals from applicants who provide new and compelling information about their academic preparation and personal circumstances. It is extremely important that students submitting an appeal follow the instructions below.

  1. Send a letter to the address below or e-mail us at with the word APPEAL in the subject line.  The letter must come from you (the applicant).
  2. Your letter must clearly outline your reasons for appealing the initial decision.
  3. Include transcripts with your letter of appeal:
    1. Freshman Applicants: You must include a copy of your high school transcripts, including senior year grades available at the time of appeal AND copies of your test score reports, with your letter of appeal.
    2. Transfer Applicants: You must include copies of transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, including both previous and current schools, with your letter of appeal.
  4. Letters of recommendation are not required. If you wish to include such letters with your appeal, the limit is two (2). Letters should substantiate the reason(s) for the appeal.

Please note: UC Merced will not return any materials provided with your appeal. It is our usual practice to respond to appeals within three (3) weeks after the priority date  indicated below.


Fall Applicants:

  • Freshman Students: April 15
  • Transfer Students: May 15

Spring Applicants (all): November 15

All appeals should be directed to:

University of California, Merced
Admissions Office Appeals
5200 North Lake Road
Merced, California 95343-5603


UC Irvine Appeal:

Appeal Information

Appealing a decision or deadline is an option available to applicants.  Irvine recognizes that personal circumstances do not always fit within deadlines, and that non-admission decisions may be questioned.

Please read the instructions carefully and submit a complete packet.  Each section will also describe general time lines and what does or does not affect the appeal.

Please Note:
Submit the completed appeal packet to the following address:

Office of Admissions and Relations with Schools
University of California, Irvine
260 Aldrich Hall
Irvine, CA 92697-1075
Attn: Appeals Committee

Incomplete, late, e-mailed, faxed or appeals not written by the applicant themselves will not be considered.

There are no interviews, but questions may be directed to the Director at (949) 824-6703.

Notification of appeal decisions will be done via the MyAdmissionsApplication@UCI and/or mail.

All appeal requests will be reviewed thoroughly. Appeal decisions are considered final.

Appeal to Closure

This appeal is for applicants who have not filed an application with the Irvine campus during the normal filing period of November 1-30 (fall quarter) or July 1-31 (winter quarter if the campus is open for that term).  This appeal also applies to current UC applicants who wish to add Irvine as a campus choice.

Potential applicants are expected in this appeal to present why he/she missed the normal UC-wide application period and reasons our campus should consider allowing the applicant to submit an application to be reviewed by UC Irvine Admissions staff in light of missing the established deadline.

Please be advised that the granting of this appeal does not guarantee admission to UC Irvine.

An Appeal to Closure must include the following:

  1. Appeal Cover Sheet (download and print: MS Word or PDF)
  2. Letter of appeal clearly stating new or compelling reason for appeal consideration, written and signed by the applicant
  3. Closure Appeal Information Sheet (download and print: MS Word or PDF);  for a list of available majors, click here
  4. Recent transcript
  5. Other additional documentation
  6. Letters of recommendation are NOT REQUIRED unless requested by our staff to support appeal information;  if recommendations or additional information are needed, our staff will request them from you

Once our office receives your appeal, you should receive written/electronic notification regarding your status within four to six weeks.


Appeal to Selection Decision

This appeal is for applicants who wish to request the Office of Admissions and Relations with Schools reevaluate the admission decision of their application.  New and compelling evidence not previously on the initial application will need to be submitted by the applicant for further review.  Submission of an appeal does not mean an appeal will be granted, and students should follow through with other universities’ deadlines.

Please be advised that even with filing an appeal, the applicant is still considered not admitted to the university, and therefore is unable to sign up for any and all orientation/advising programs offered by our campus.  If the student is admitted via appeal at a later date, arrangements will be made to attend orientation at a later date.

A further consideration is that once the initial SIR deadline (May 1 for freshman applicants; June 1 for transfer applicants) has passed, on-campus housing is no longer guaranteed for applicants accepting an admission offer after those dates.

PLEASE NOTE:  It is very imporant all materials sent for review are sent at one time in one package.  Due to the amount of paperwork received by the office and also the ongoing appeal review process, any paperwork submitted separately WILL NOT be merged with the original appeal for review.

Freshmen Selection Appeals: Submit the following items in ONE package postmarked by April 15 and include student name and Application ID number on each sheet of materials submitted:

  1. Appeal Cover Sheet (download and print: MS Word or PDF)
  2. Letter of appeal clearly stating new and compelling information for appeal consideration, written and signed by the applicant
  3. High school transcript from most recent term; please note the transcript must have course information and grades from fall semester of your senior year and any additional semesters available at the time of appeal; an official transcript in the school’s sealed envelope is preferred
  4. Other additional documentation
  5. Letters of recommendation are NOT REQUIRED unless requested by our staff to support appeal information

Transfer Selection Appeals: Submit the following items in ONE package postmarked by May 15 (or two weeks after official deadline) and include student name and Application ID number on each sheet of materials submitted:

  1. Appeal Cover Sheet (download and print: MS Word or PDF)
  2. Letter of appeal clearly stating new and compelling information for appeal consideration, written and signed by the applicant
  3. College transcript through most recent term for college(s) currently attending;  updated list of courses in progress for the current term, if applicable
  4. Applicable documentation: please note that the Office of Admissions and Relations with Schools may request additional documentation from an applicant, as needed
  5. Letters of recommendation are NOT REQUIRED unless requested by our staff to support appeal information

Applicants will receive communication via their e-mail to check their MyAdmissionsApplication@UCI web page for admissions status when an appeal decision has been made.  The majority of reviews will be completed by late July/early August and no faxes, e-mails or incomplete packets will be considered.


Appeal to Late Statement of Intent to Register (SIR)

This appeal is for those applicants who wish to file a Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) to UC Irvine after the SIR deadline has passed (May 1 for freshman applicants;  June 1 for transfer applicants).  For late SIR appeals, applicants must provide solid reasoning to the Office of Admissions and Relations with Schools why the applicant should be allowed to submit a late SIR after the publicized deadline.

Freshman Late SIR Appeals: Submit the following items in ONE package no later than May 15 and include student name and Application ID number on each sheet of materials submitted.

  1. Appeal Cover Sheet (download and print: MS Word or PDF)
  2. Letter of appeal clearly stating new and compelling information for appeal consideration, written and signed by the applicant
  3. Official and final high school transcript and any applicable official college transcripts from appropriate terms in the respective school’s sealed envelope; please note the transcript must have course information, final grades senior year and graduation date
  4. Applicable documentation to support case
  5. Letters of recommendation are NOT REQUIRED unless requested by our staff to support appeal information
  6. Check for $100.00 SIR fee payable to “UC Regents”

Transfer Late SIR Appeals: Submit the following items in ONE package no later than June 15 (or two weeks after official deadline) and include student name and Application ID number on each sheet of materials submitted.

  1. Appeal Cover Sheet (download and print: MS Word or PDF)
  2. Letter of appeal clearly stating new and compelling information for appeal consideration, written and signed by the applicant
  3. All official and final college transcript(s) for appropriate terms attended in the respective schools’ sealed envelopes;  updated list of courses in progress for the current term, if applicable
  4. Applicable documentation to support case
  5. Letters of recommendation are NOT REQUIRED unless requested by our staff to support appeal information
  6. Check for $100.00 SIR fee payable to “UC Regents”

Applicants will receive communication via their e-mail to check their MyAdmissionsApplication@UCI web page for admissions status when an appeal decision has been made. Reviews will be completed within four to six week and no faxes, e-mails or incomplete packets will be considered.


Appeal to Admissions Offer Withdrawn

This appeal is for applicants whose admissions offer has been formally withdrawn by the Office of Admissions and Relations with Schools.  As part of this appeal, applicants are to provide evidence which would cause reconsideration for the withdrawing of the offer of admission to UC Irvine.

Applicants have two weeks from the notification of the decision to submit an appeal to our office.

Appeals to admissions offer withdrawn must include the following:

  1. Appeal Cover Sheet (download and print: MS Word or PDF)
  2. Letter of appeal clearly stating new and compelling information for appeal consideration, written and signed by the applicant
  3. School transcript through most recent term for school(s) currently attending;  updated list of courses in progress for the current term, if applicable
  4. Applicable documentation – please note that the Office of Admissions and Relations with Schools may request additional documentation from an applicant, as needed
  5. Letters of recommendation are NOT REQUIRED or ACCEPTED unless requested by our staff to support appeal information

Applicants will receive communication via their e-mail to check their MyAdmissionsApplication@UCI web page for admissions status when an appeal decision has been made.  Reviews will be completed within four to six weeks and no faxes, e-mails or incomplete packets will be considered.




UCLA picture powerpoint: Introduction, Enjoy! :)

UCLA Powerpoint Download (by current UCLA student, YueMing Huang, class of 2011). Thanks.



Before I review your application, please make sure your application is as COMPLETE as possible. I am realizing I am correcting the same mistakes over and over again for each student. This process is taking way too much of my time, so I am deciding to type up this little FAQ for you. These are some of the most frequently issues I noticed among the students, so please read it and make sure your application is complete with all of it. Once your application is COMPLETE, then send me your login info again. and I can help you take one last look before you submit it. This will save me a lot of energy and time. Thanks. Sincerely, Bai

Overall, reminders:

  • SPELLING/GRAMMAR: Make sure to double-check it again yourself, I try my best to get a good read of the application. For example, check that you enter your SSN, DOB, grades, grammar, etc correctly. I am mainly checking for completion and some slight grammar, errors, I get really irritated when I see you didn’t capitalize your “i” or check your grammar.
  • You may apply for the fee-waiver on the online application, but if you don’t qualify, indicate that you’ll pay by MAIL and here are some details regarding getting a fee-waiver for UC/CSU:
  • Scholarships section: For scholarships section, make sure to mark at least 16 categories. All you have to do is click on sixteen categories, if you qualify for their scholarships, they’ll contact you for more information.
  • EOP Section: For this section. Indicate YES that you are interested. EOP is a program for low-income, first-generation college students (i.e. your parents did not graduate from a 4-year college); they provide academic support and help.
  • Under Activities/Award: Include my program: Educational Talent Search Hrs/week: 2 or 3 Week/Year: 32 (more or less). Here is a simple description of my program, feel free to change it if you want: This program provided me with more college information and support with college applications. My advisor also motivated and encouraged me for college
  • For Econ/Govt: If you are taking Government, right now put your course like this: IP NO and then enter Economics, since you are taking it in the Spring as (under college-prep elective) section as NO PL
  • Additional Comments section (in Academics area): Use this section to describe anything you want regarding your academics. For example, if you really wanted to take a course, but you weren’t able to take due to budget cuts or if you had any drops in grades and you had a valid excuse that type of thing. Also, if you are taking TA, you can list down why you are a TA, maybe because you couldn’t get into a course.
  • In Activities; coursework other than A-G: list down classes you took that are not A-G that you might want to elaborate on. Examples include Community college classes, Health Ed Classes, Hospital and Tourism class, etc. Also describe it and what did you learned. You may even include TA courses if they were relevant.
  • In Activities: I would suggest you to add more activities. For example, in extra-curricular activities also include any additional activities you do outside of school: including household responsibilities, duties, and tasks you have. Examples: babysitting, helping with translation, household chores, etc. Also, include any non-academic/non-school activities that you (if any).
  • AP exams; If you are taking any exams this year, enter them as well.
  • Majors: Try to put down an alternate major.
  • Colleges: If your list consist of 4 schools and they are only UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC San Diego, and you are a pretty strong candidate I would still advise you to apply for a few more schools so that you can have some back-up schools because UCLA/UCB accept only about 20% of its applicants.
  • UCSD: most people who attend there told me they will put down Muir as first choice because it has the least number of requirements. Consider that if you have already done some research.
  • Make sure to send your official SAT/ACT test scores to the colleges.
    • If you send it to one UC, all of them will receive your scores.
    • If you send it to code: 3594 (under more search options), all CSU will get it.
    • For more details, go to my website:
  • Additional Comments Section: Use this section to add more information about yourself that didn’t get a chance to do in your application. As you might know, it doesn’t have to be in essay form, it could just be bullet points or different paragraphs. Include details about specific activities, programs (like Health academy, AoIT, etc that you were in and how it affected you), my program (Educational talent search), AVID, etc, family issues. Pretty much anything you didn’t get to address in your application or PS, but do not repeat PS information.
  • PERSONAL STATEMENT General TIPS: In general, I have been telling students to use this structure for the essay. CAR. C=Challenges A=Accomplishment, R=Results. When talking about yourself , you can start off by talking about the challenges you faced in life, be specific, then go in depth about how you overcome them (accomplishments), and what about now (results).
    • Personal Statements #1:
      • Is this essay focusing on yourself?
      • Did you provide any concrete examples?
      • Did you provide examples and details of your obstacles (being low-income, first-gen?) Don’t just say that you are low-income or that you were raised in single-parent household, go in depth and tell me how it affected you.
      • Is your voice heard? Meaning, when I read this essay, does it sound like you are talking to me about your life.
    • Personal Statement #2
      • Usually, I will instruct students to use one specific activity or example and go in depth with it. Use your MOST significant activity and express yourself in detail. Don’t just say you were a leader, what did you do to become a leader. Details details.
      • Why you are proud of your experience? Answer that directly, and how does that relate to you as a person. Did you grew to be more confident? a leader? etc.