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Summer 2003
Getting In
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They are questions often laden with frustration and sometimes anger.

For answers, one must look to the University of California’s policy of Comprehensive Admissions. Established two years ago by the UC faculty and regents, the policy was implemented to assure the integrity and fairness of the freshman-admissions process at all of UC’s undergraduate campuses. To many, whether it’s students who make the cut or those who don’t, or parents, alumni and the general public, the process is a mystery. To the cadre of faculty, administrators and staff involved in making admissions decisions for UCLA, it is a painstaking process that requires close scrutiny of an enormous pool of well-qualified applicants to produce a freshman class that is bright, well-rounded, motivated, self-directed and likely to succeed in the competitive environment of a school like UCLA.

Comprehensive review mandates that each campus evaluate the full achievement record of all its applicants. Rather than looking strictly at a narrow range of quantitative factors such as grades and test scores, the process recognizes that merit is demonstrated in a broad variety of academic and personal achievements. The goal, says UCLA Director of Admissions Vu Tran Ed.D. ’99, “is to have an equitable admissions policy that gives all high-achieving students a fair chance.”

“Comprehensive review tries to personalize the admissions process to the greatest extent possible,” says Susan Wilbur Ph.D. ’96, director of undergraduate admissions in the UC Office of the President. “Every student’s application must be fully read. We are interested in learning about the individual talents, strengths and abilities that each student will bring to the university.”

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