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Summer 2003
Getting In
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Academic preparation is the most significant factor in admissions decisions, and eligibility for freshman admission to the UC is based solely on grades in required high school courses and/or standardized test scores — minimum criteria that must be met before any other factors are considered (See “Eligibility Defined,” page 29). UC-eligible students make up the top 12.5 percent of California’s graduating seniors, the group for whom a UC education is assured by the California Master Plan for Higher Education. But UC eligibility alone does not automatically qualify a student for admission to one of the more selective campuses such as UCLA, Berkeley or San Diego. Thus, a student’s achievements in combination with academic qualifications can become a very important factor in making admissions decisions at those schools.

“UC’s definition of high-achieving students goes beyond academic measures such as grades and test scores to values such as leadership, community involvement, honors, awards and so forth,” says Tran. “Academic criteria alone are not sufficient.”

Such personal achievement can be demonstrated in everything from special research projects to community service to accomplishments in athletics or maintaining a challenging job. For applicants to UCLA, the personal-achievement bar is high.

Look again at the example of the two students, both highly qualified, one successful in winning admittance to UCLA, the other not.

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