The UCs tend to do things…well, a little differently. As we approach the filing period just 2 weeks away, it is important to point out some of the nuances that distinguish this application process from so many others.
Do not send transcripts to the UC. You might be surprised to learn that they simply do not want them at this point in the game. Indeed, many of you are shocked when you learn this. “They really just trust me?” you say. Well, they do for the time being. Self-report your grades now, and once you are admitted and have chosen to matriculate to a UC campus, you will then send your transcript.
Do not send letters of recommendation. Nope. They don’t want to see them either. This year, Berkeley chose to allow students to submit letters of rec and then changed its tune, saying it will accept two letters of rec only from those
students whom they invite to submit them. The other campuses have the ability to request letters if and when they require additional perspective.
Release your test scores to only one campus. If you are applying to more than one UC campus, you should release your test scores to one campus only; your scores will be shared among the campuses to which you submit an application.
Use the Additional Comments sections judiciously. These sections should not be used as an “overflow” of the personal statement. The Additional Comments section following the Academic History section is meant to put academics in context. An example might be to explain a certain prestigious school program in which the student was chosen to participate— prerequisites, the selection process, the ins and out of the program. The Additional Comments section that follows the personal statement is meant for an opportunity to give context to non-academic situations. For instance, if a student suffered an illness necessitating an absence from school and a subsequent impact on grades, this should be mentioned here.
Rethink your personal statement. At the UC Conference this year, a big deal was made about the personal statement and its distinction from a typical college essay. UC is more interested in learning about what happened to you than the scene surrounding what happened. That is, scene setting and in-the-moment descriptions are not as helpful to busy readers as are the facts about what happened.
We at FutureWise are here to help you navigate this often confusing and difficult-to-keep-straight process. If you would like to schedule a consultation to inquire about how we can help you, email firstname.lastname@example.org.