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In the intricate realm of college admissions, it is vital to stay up-to-date. At a recent meeting of the Bay Area Regional Group of the Independent Educational Consultants of America (IECA) featuring UCLA Senior Associate Director of Undergraduate Admission Karyl Brockett, Dr. Morgenstern gained new insight into UCLA admissions practices.

Here are six key takeaways on UCLA admission practices:

  1. Application Review Process: The UCLA admissions team reviewed 145,910 applications in 2022, supported by a team of over 60 staff members and approximately 200 external readers. A comprehensive training and calibration process is in place to ensure every application undergoes a fair and holistic evaluation.
  2. High School Profiles: The university leverages the College Board’s landscape data to better understand applicants’ high school contexts. This approach underscores the importance of the additional information section of the UC application, where students are encouraged to provide personal context about their high school experiences.
  3. Transfer Admissions: The admit rate for transfer students is notably higher than for incoming freshmen, with a 26% admission rate compared to 9%. While UCLA does not offer a transfer guarantee program, it strongly encourages prospective transfer students to complete major preparation courses to bolster their chances of admission.
  4. Additional Information Section: This section of the application is designed for students to provide extra context or share significant aspects of their story not covered in other sections, offering a more nuanced view of their personal journey.
  5. Undeclared Majors: At UCLA’s College of Letters and Science, applying as an undeclared major does not negatively affect a student’s admission chances. However, for specialized schools such as Engineering, the major declared can significantly impact the admission decision, and it’s recommended that students select a second major within the same college as a precaution.
  6. Leadership Qualities: Leadership is one of many factors considered in UCLA’s holistic review process. The UCLA admissions team values the diversity of experiences and encourages students to highlight their true interests and activities, not just traditional leadership roles.

The UCLA Admissions Process

ucla admissions process

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About the Author: Amy Morgenstern

Dr. Amy Morgenstern, affectionately known as Dr. M, is the founder and CEO of Blue Stars Admissions Consulting. She holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and an MFA in contemporary art. A former professor of philosophy, honors program associate director, and assistant to the director of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, Dr. M brings a wealth of academic and multicultural experience to her practice.

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