successful applicant first: High grades and high test scores. Seventeen
semesters’ worth of AP and honors classes. Numerous honors
and awards, including membership in the National Honor Society,
a Kodak Young Leaders Award and a leadership award for managing
the school’s computer lab store. Captain of the school volleyball
team. Four years on varsity soccer. President of the school’s
chapter of the California Scholarship Federation. Participant in
AIDS Walk L.A. Volunteer at a convalescent hospital, tutor for underachieving
students and a summer’s service with a youth ministry at an
orphanage in Romania. In addition, the applicant took a rigorous
mix of 12 college-prep courses, including some honors and AP, in
the senior year.
applicant who was not admitted: Again, high grades and test scores.
Sixteen semesters’ worth of AP and honors courses. High school
honor roll and recognition for achievement on the Golden State Exams.
Staff member on the school newspaper. Member of the French club.
Participant in the school chapter of the California Scholarship
Federation. Player on the softball team. Violinist in the school
orchestra. Nine AP, honors and other college-prep courses in the
excellent applicants, the kind of students many colleges would snap
up in an instant. What, then, made the difference between getting
into UCLA and not getting in?
look for distinctive honors, awards and recognitions,” says
Tran. “We say distinctive because virtually every
student who applies to UCLA has received many honors and awards.”