Applying to UC System

The University of California system comprises ten different schools, nine of which offer an undergraduate education. Five of the UC schools have been ranked in the top 50 in the United States, and institutions such as UC Berkeley and UCLA have both been ranked as the top public university in the United States. It is to no surprise, therefore, that thousands of students from around the globe submit applications to the UC system every year.

If you are considering applying to a school in the UC system, there are a few important tips you should take into consideration:

  1. The UC application system is different: In order to apply to any of the UC schools, you will need to submit a separate application, including essays, through the UC admissions portal. The structure of this application is somewhat similar to that of the Common Application, as it requires a general personal statement essay as well as supplemental-type essays. However, you should note that the application deadline for UC schools is earlier (November) than the regular Common Application deadline (January). In addition, if a UC school is your top choice, you should also be aware that the UC system does not offer early action or early decision enrollment.

  2. Your application will be reviewed holistically and you should use it to provide a comprehensive overview of your achievements and interests: All UC schools review applications holistically. This means that the schools do not have cutoffs in terms of academic and standardized test performance, and that in addition to performance in these two areas, the admissions committees are looking for students who can benefit most from the opportunities and programs at specific campuses, and who can contribute to the broader community in a positive way. Applications to most UC schools are reviewed by two to three different committee members in order to ensure your application is being holistically considered. As a result, you should be sure that you are investing significant time and effort into your essays and application, and that they adequately showcase the breadth of your talents, achievements, and passions. Given the volume of applications these schools receive every year, they do not offer admissions interviews. Your application is therefore the most important indicator of your strengths and accomplishments.

  3. Conduct research on all of the UC campuses and determine which is the best fit for you: Each UC campus offers different academic, social, and extracurricular opportunities. Before submitting your application, you should conduct research on each campus in order to identify which school is best for you. Each campus produces a Freshman Application Guide which is a good place to start. When conducting research, you should make sure to consider what percentage of the student body population is in-state, out-of-state and international as this will give you a sense of what your admissions chances are and where your potential peers will be from. Since the application applies broadly to all UC schools, you should also feel free to apply to multiple schools, even if some of them are not your top choice. Applying to multiple UC campuses does not hurt your chances at gaining admission to the more competitive schools and can give you a broader set of schools to consider when making your final admissions decision.

IvySummit had another tremendous 2019 application season with our international students accepted at UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, UC Davis, and UC Santa Cruz. We work with international students from China, Russia, UK, Europe, Asia, and international students studying at US boarding schools. We routinely have US and international clients from the world’s top high schools and boarding schools that are looking for elite admissions guidance into UC schools and other top 30 programs.

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