Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the UC Counselor’s Conference on the beautiful campus of UC San Diego. Directors and admissions counselors from all nine undergraduate UC schools offered key insights about the application process and the current admissions landscape.
Here are ten key facts/tips that stood out:
There will be no tuition increases through 2017!
Even though the number of high school graduates in CA is on the decline, the UC Brand is strong, and the number of applicants is projected to continue to increase. Advice: students should apply broadly. Last year, 82% of applicants who met eligibility got into at least one UC.
3) Standardized Testing:
The SAT or ACT must be taken by December of the student’s senior year, there is no penalty for multiple test submissions, and UC campuses do NOT super score, meaning they do not take a combination of the best scores from each section.
4) Language Requirement:
Although two years of language is the “minimum” requirement, students should take three or more years to be competitive!
5) Family Income Question:
It does NOT hurt the student’s admission’s chances to include this information, and including it can paint a clearer picture for admission’s counselors. A high income can speak to how the student was able to do things because of that income, and a lower income can offer context.
6) Optional Comments Section:
Students should not be shy about using the two optional additional comment sections. If they have a situation that requires more explanation or something in their academic profile that needs clarification, this is their opportunity to communicate that to admissions counselors. Students should err on the side of oversharing!
7) Activities and Awards Section:
Since there is a limit to how many activities and awards students can list, they should list the activities that they have spent the most time doing and that mean the most to them. Students should be sure to provide clear context and essential details. They must keep in mind that admissions counselors do not have the time to research each school and program.
8) Personal Statement:
As students are drafting their personal statements, they should be thinking, “Is this relevant to me now?” They should write in first person and always tie the story back to them.
9) Application Review:
Despite what many believe, there is NO campus collaboration with applications and admissions. Each campus individually evaluates and makes decisions about each student.
Students must meet deadlines; there are NO exceptions! Students should create a separate email address for applying to college, and they MUST check that email on a regular basis.