How to Apply to The University of California (UC) Schools

The UC Application is a unique application that students use to apply to schools such as UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UCSD. The application window is open from November 1st until November 30th, and the schools start to send out decisions in early March. Here are a couple tips to consider when you apply:

 

  1. Don’t Limit Your Options - By just filling out one UC Application, you can apply to as many of the 9 UC schools as you want, by just checking the box next to their name. Don’t be overly confident and limit your future by only checking the top school that you think you will get into. Note: each UC school you check charges an additional fee.
  1. Get a Copy of Your Transcript and AP Scores – You must manually enter all of your high school course history and AP scores, so don’t just rely on your memory. Have a copy of your transcript beside you because a mistake on the application can potentially make it completely void.

 

  1. Use your Resume – Obtain a copy of your resume so you can accurately fill out your achievements and awards on the application. You’re only allowed to fill-in your top 5 achievements/awards in every category, so use your resume to help you choose wisely.

 

  1. Make Sure to Check the Boxes for Scholarships– You’re allowed to choose up to 16 scholarships that you can be eligible for when you submit your application. Make sure you don’t forget to check these boxes– it’s your chance to be eligible for FREE money.

 

  1. Send your Test Scores to ONE Campus ONLY – By sending your test scores to one of the UC schools you’ve applied to, all the UC’s will receive the scores. So make sure you don’t fall victim to this silly mistake and overpay.

 

  1. Look into the Blue and Gold Plan – This is one of the main reasons low-income students are able to attend UC schools. If your family makes less than $80,000, you may qualify to have the majority of your tuition and expenses paid for through the UC’s Blue and Gold Opportunity. Come see us for more information.

 

  1. Don’t Procrastinate - The deadline for the UC Application is November 30th. While students who submit their applications do not get priority over anyone else, waiting until the last minute is very risky. With so many high school students tending to procrastinate until the very last second, the UC website database often crashes, leaving you missing the deadline and then being forced to plead to the UC admissions office for them to still accept your late application.

 

 

*Personal Statements

The UC Application also consists of eight personal essays. You must respond to four of the eight essays. The essays should not exceed 350 words total. The prompts are as follows:

1. Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes, or contributed to group efforts over time.

2. Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side.

3. What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?

4. Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.

5. Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement?

6. Describe your favorite academic subject and explain how it has influenced you.

7. What have you done to make your school or your community a better place? 

8. What is the one thing that you think sets you apart from other candidates applying to the University of California?

The UC Application may look a little intimidating at first, but if you start early and come organized, you shouldn’t have any issues. Let us know if you have any more questions or need any further expert college advice.

 

*Read the How To Write A Great College Essay article to get some tips for writing these important personal statements.

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