Most UC campuses saw a record number of first-year applications in last year's admissions cycle, fueled most likely by UC's test blind admission policy.
The campuses continue to prioritize the following:
--Admitting more CA residents to meet the states mandate that no more that 18% of students are non residents
--Admitting high percentages of first generation and Low Income students
Here are the Application Numbers and Admit Rates by campus (in order of most selective to least selective):
9% admit rate (first time in single digits)
11% admit rate
21% Admit Rate
UC San Diego
Admit rate 23.7%
UC Santa Barbara
26% admit rate
37.5% admit rate
UC Santa Cruz
47.1% admit rate
69.35% admit rate
90% Admit rate
UC campuses can see the following GPAS when reviewing applications: Weighted, Unweighted, and UC Weighted Capped.
Below are the Median 50% GPAs shared this morning by each Campus (in alphabetical order).
Weighted GPA: 4.31-4.66
Unweighted GPA: 3.83-4.0
UC Weighted Capped GPA: 4.05-4.29
Weighted GPA: 4.22
Unweighted GPA 3.95
Weighted GPA: 4.53
Capped GPA: 4.26
Weighted GPA 3.78
Weighted GPA (range): 3.8 - 4.19
UC San Diego
Weighted GPA (range): 4.12 - 4.3
UC Santa Barbara
Weighted GPA: 4.52
All campuses allow students to choose an alternate major, but for many campuses (i.e. Berkeley and UC Irvine), the student will only be considered for the alternate major if space remains in the alternate major or for the waitlist. Students must be directly admitted to engineering and other highly selective programs/colleges (i.e. UCSB's College of Creative students and most computer science and biology degrees at all campuses). I do not recommend students try to game the system by choosing a major they are not truly interested in.
RIGOR OF SCHEDULE/SELECTIVITY:
Campuses look at the number of Honors, AP, and IB courses taken. They will only review students in the context of their own high school. Keep in mind that the University of CA serves students across the entire state, and its goal is to provide opportunities for students at every school. That means that students are, in essence, being compared to their classmates. The more competitive the public high school (high schools with large numbers of high achieving students) the more difficult it is for the UC to offer spots to all qualified students at that high school.
It looks to be the most competitive year for UC campuses.
Last month, the UCs released detailed enrollment data for last year's high school seniors, the class of 2021. Many high schools saw significant jumps in average admitted GPA to UC campuses that were typically more attainable.
Take University High School in Irvine for example:
Average Admitted GPAs:
UC Santa Cruz: 4.09 (2021) vs. 3.91 (2020)
UC Riverside: 4.03 (2021) vs. 3.9 (2020)
From what I have seen so far with UC decisions, I suspect the average admitted GPA to be even higher for this year's seniors across all campuses, but unfortunately, we most likely won't have that data until early 2023 after next years seniors apply.
I just had a IB diploma student with a 4.7 GPA get waitlisted at UC Santa Cruz. I was shocked. Granted, they probably thought she wouldn't go, waitlisting her only to see if she would opt in. Since she already has great options with strong merit scholarships, she probably won't choose UC Santa Cruz. But I don't recall UC campuses playing these enrollment games in the past.
1. If you have a kid applying to the UCs next fall, make sure they apply broadly, meaning they should apply to as many campuses as they will realistically consider. The UCs do not talk to one another, so applying to one campus does not affect your kid's chances at another campus.
2. Make sure they apply to several favorable schools outside of the UC system.
3. If your kid really has their heart set on a UC campus and doesn't get in, think about doing the TAG (Transfer Admissions Guarantee) at your local CA community campus.
MARCH 2022 University of CA Counselor Bulletin
"Systemwide applications climb to highest number ever in UC's 154-year history
The University of California recently announced that its campuses received a record-breaking number of applications for fall 2022, underscoring UC’s position as one of the most sought-after higher education systems in the world.
“The University of California remains an institution of choice for so many hardworking prospective undergraduates,” said President Michael V. Drake, M.D. “This diverse group of students has shown their commitment to pursuing higher education and we are thrilled they want to join us at UC.”
Systemwide freshman applications rose 3.5 percent, including a 3.3 percent growth for California freshman applicants. The university also saw an increase in the socioeconomic diversity of its California applicant pool for fall 2022. Systemwide, the proportion of California freshman applicants and California Community College (CCC) transfer applicants from low-income families grew to 46 percent and 56 percent respectively for the 2022 application period.
Community college enrollment declined nationally for fall 2021 due to the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic. This trend was especially true for CCCs, where enrollment declined by roughly 15 percent for fall 2020. That dramatic drop decreased the available pipeline of students applying to transfer to UC from CCCs for fall 2022. Systemwide, transfer applications decreased 12.6 percent. “UC is aware of the decrease in transfer applications and California Community College students across the system and is working to ensure that this critical group is supported in their efforts to apply at our campuses,” said Han Mi Yoon-Wu, executive director of Undergraduate Admissions at UC. “We are committed to having a strong and diverse pipeline of students.”
Chicano/Latino students comprised the largest ethnic group of the pool of California freshman applicants (38.1 percent) for the third year in a row, a 4.1 percent increase over the past year. Similarly, Chicano/Latino students comprised the largest ethnic group of the pool of CCC applicants (31.8 percent) for the fifth year in a row. In addition, important gains were made in systemwide freshman applications for fall 2022 from American Indian students (32.8 percent increase over the past year), African American students (2.8 percent increase over the past year) and Asian American students (5.8 percent increase over the past year).
Additional details about the fall 2022 applicants to the university can be found here, along with preliminary campus-by-campus breakdowns."
The University of CA released its Admission by Source School data for the class of 2021 (last year's seniors). This is an interactive chart that allows users to look up admissions stats for individual high school students applying to specific UC campuses. You can pull data such as the average GPA of students admitted, percentage of each gender admitted and a breakdown of admitted students by ethnicity. For some high schools, the average GPAs across the board went up significantly while with others it said the same. Click HERE to check it out.
In 2017 the University of California shifted from the traditional personal statement--a more creative essay meant to showcase an applicant's personality, writing abilities, and creativity--to the Personal Insight Questions, commonly referred to as the PIQs.
For the past five years, I have attended the UC Counselors Conference session on the PIQs, and the message has remained consistent: these PIQs are not meant to be a personal statement. They are meant to be questions the applicant answers directly, as if they were being asked these questions in an interview.
Below are some tips on how to approach the PIQs and some myths dispelled:
The UC Counselors Conference kicked off today and sessions will take place over a five-day period ending next Wednesday. I will share my insights at the end of the conference, but in the meantime, here are some overall UC announcements and admissions data from each of the campuses.
Announcements that apply to all campuses:
Admissions Number/Info by Campus:
14.5% admit rate
5,876 accepted on the waitlist, and 1,647 admitted off the waitlist
4.25-4.61 was middle 50% GPA
Students are admitted by Major and cannot apply to an alternate major. However, if student applies to a competitive major, they will still be reviewed and can be admitted to another major.
29% Admit Rate
CA admit rate was just under 20%
Average middle 50% GPA not posted
Hardly anyone got off the waitlist; UCI was much more popular than they anticipated
Students are admitted by major and can select alternate major; Students are recommended to not apply to an "easier" major because switching majors is challenging.
87% Admit Rate
Average Middle 50% GPA — 3.4-4.0
Average number of Honors courses—11.64
92% of applicants CA residents
Students are admitted by major, but major does not factor into decision. Undeclared is the most popular major.
UC Santa Barbara
Students are admitted by College. These are the admit rates by college:
Letters and Science—28%
Average Middle 50% GPA — 4.31
Average Middle GPA by College:
Letters and Sciences-4.22
UCSB does NOT admit by major within Letters and Sciences
Admit rate (overall) — 49%
Admit rate in College of Letters and Sciences—52.2%
Average Middle 50% GPA — 3.95-4.25
Davis admitted more CA residents this year than any other year!
Very few students came off the waitlist
Admit Rate — 11%
Crazy increase in apps: 139,489 and 15,084 admits
Weighted Middle 50% GPA --4.36-4.72
Capped Midde 50% GPA -- 4.17-4.32
Average number of AP/Honors/IB Classes — 19-30
Not active on the waitlist at all!
Students admitted by College: No second choice option.
Below are Admit Rate by College:
Letters and Science—13%
Theater, Film, TV—4%
Arts and Architecture—5%
66% Admit Rate
Waitlist Offers: 12,162; Opt Ins: 5997; and number admitted from waitlist: 4992
625 Regent Scholar Offers
Medium GPA: 3.64 to 4.10
Riverside admits by Major, and will consider alternate major choice. Student MUST consider both.
Average GPA by College:
Arts and Social Sciences: 3.57-4.03
Natural and Ag Sciences: 3.7-4.13
Public Police: 3.6-4.0
Graduate School fo Education: 3.58-3.96
34% Admit rate
Middle 50% GPA—4.07-4.29
Average honors/AP/IB courses 15.5
San Diego admits by Major.
Students can go in undeclared but probably can't declare a capped major like engineering.
UC Santa Cruz
58% Admit rate
3.99 Average GPA
19,000 waitlist; 12,000 opted; about 36% received an offer off waitlist
Students can apply undeclared but to a cluster so student’s interest is narrowed
Student can and should put down alternate major if applying to a popular major like computer science