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Summer 2003
Getting In
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THE COMPLEX PROCESS by which UCLA’s future freshmen are selected occupies fully half of each academic year.

Applications start arriving in early November, a trickle that becomes a deluge after Thanksgiving and stays that way until the final deadline of November 30. By that time, about 150 readers have been recruited and are undergoing 12 hours of intensive training.

The readers typically have strong ties to education, either as UCLA staff involved in admissions, counseling, student affairs or early academic outreach, as alumni who’ve served on scholarship committees or as high school counselors with in-depth knowledge of college-preparatory curricula. About a third are paid for their services, and the rest are volunteers and staff.

The review occurs on two parallel tracks. Most of the readers tackle the comprehensive dossier reviews. Combing through copies of students’ applications and personal statements, and a summary sheet of academic information prepared by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Relations With Schools (UARS), they assign each applicant a ranking on a scale of 1 to 5 for personal achievement and another for life challenges.

“I feel so good about being part of a process that’s really fair and thorough,” says Veda Veach, who continues as a senior evaluator after retiring from a long career in UARS. “There’s a sincerity that comes through in the applications. I really get hooked on reading the kids’ essays.”

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