We talked this week with admissions representatives from all 9 UC Campuses – here are some crystal clear tips they shared with us!
Great Applications Take Time: Don’t rush them.
Use Your HS Transcript: Enter classes and grades DIRECTLY onto application—they want EVERY course recorded, even repeated classes.
Additional Comment Sections (Academic area): If you need to add context to a certain unique situation, or explain something unusual, here’s where you do that! For example, if you were not able to take a class that you’d planned to taking because of scheduling conflicts on campus, say so! Anything out of the ordinary having to do with academics can be briefly discussed in this section.
Activities/Awards Sections: Do NOT save this section for the last minute – to do it well, it takes a lot of time! ALL activities count! (how do you spend your time? working? babysitting? reading? hiking? playing sports? performing? That is what they want to know!) Use active verbs to describe exactly HOW YOU contributed.
Personal Insight Questions (Essays): Get straight to the point! Speak conversationally and talk about what you DID. Pick topics that are easy to write about because you will get the best stories that way. Make sure your 4 essays display different facets of yourself! If you have a certain academic focus – like STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), it’s a great idea to talk about your interest in that area for at least one essay topic.
Additional Comments Section (after Essays): You can use this section to write about anything that has happened in your life that adds context to your story.
Additional Comments for COVID-19 Circumstances: You can also discuss special circumstances relating to the pandemic. For example, if COVID-19 has impacted your life in a certain way that made schoolwork hard, write about it here! (for example, you did not have a quiet place to work, you did not have a good internet connection, you were responsible for the care of younger siblings while your parents worked, you are an essential worker, your parents are essential workers, etc. )
Check Stats at Each Campus- We’d suggest you apply to multiple campuses and look at their academic stats so you are sure you are applying to the ones that make sense for you! There will be a lot of admissions decision “unknowns” because SAT/ACT testing will not likely come into play.
Edit Your Work: Proofread for errors. (ask somebody else to proofread too)
After You Apply: If you earn a “D” or “F” in any class, contact them directly so they can work with you on it. (They WILL find out!)
Email Communication Critical at the UC’s: Check emails often once you apply, and open portals IMMEDIATELY if asked to—some UC’s use portals during review process and it’s the fastest way to get a response to any question you have. If your email address changes, let them know!
Contact us with questions about the UC application! (818)207-0263