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Summer 2003
Getting In
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It is an approach that allows those making the evaluation to consider students in totality: how they have pushed the boundaries of education and personal achievement, the trajectory of their academic paths, the goals they have set and the choices they’ve made, where they have overcome significant challenges in their lives and where, perhaps, they have fallen down.

Comprehensive review is not altogether new, points out Keith Stolzenbach, UCLA professor of civil and environmental engineering and chair of the campus’ Committee on Undergraduate Admissions and Relations with Schools (CUARS), which took an active role in developing and implementing the policy for UCLA. It essentially replaces the former “2-Tier” system by which each campus admitted 50-to-75 percent of its freshman class on academic criteria alone (Tier 1) and the balance of the class based, in effect, on a comprehensive review of academics plus supplemental criteria (Tier 2).

“The regents’ decision to implement comprehensive review didn’t have a huge impact at UCLA,” says Thomas Lifka, assistant vice chancellor of student academic services. “We already had been using a wide range of criteria beyond just academics to differentiate more carefully in making our decisions.”

For the system as a whole, comprehensive review moves the campuses away from a formulaic model of admissions traditionally practiced by most large, public institutions and toward the more qualitative, individualized review employed by many of the nation’s most selective private universities.

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2005 The Regents of the University of California