The University of California is capping non-resident freshman admission at UCLA and UC Berkeley next year at this year’s rate of 30%. There will be no cap for non-residents at the other seven undergraduate campuses, where out-of-state freshmen comprise about 20% of this year’s class.
A non-resident’s chance of admission, therefore, is as good as it has ever been in the Golden State’s history: out-of-state freshman admission rates hit a record high this year after climbing steadily in recent years due to state funding cutbacks. The bad news is that non-residents pay about $23,000 more in tuition each year; and although not unheard of, merit aid is rarely awarded to students coming from out-of-state.
High school seniors who would like to apply to one or more of the UC campuses can get started now – the application is live – but it cannot be submitted until November 1. Here are a few more tips:
- Out-of-state applicants must have at least a 3.4 GPA in college preparatory courses and meet other criteria to apply. (A truly competitive out-of-state candidate, especially for UCLA and UC Berkeley, will have a GPA well above 3.4.)
- Use one application to apply to any or all of the nine University of California undergraduate campuses.
- Submit your application between November 1 and November 30. No exceptions.
- Send only one copy of standardized test scores – the schools will share the information from your SAT or ACT reports.
- Do not submit supporting documents, such as transcripts, resumes, portfolios, or letters of recommendation with your application. If you are admitted, you will then be required to have transcripts sent.
- UC Berkeley (only) may ask for a letter of recommendation at a later date, so be prepared.
- Refer to the step-by-step application completion guide for help. A PDF file to assist out-of-state freshman applicants for 2016/17 is available with more details.
- Answer two essay prompts. Each must be at least 250 words; combined, the two cannot exceed 1000 words. (The most important word in each prompt is how. Focus on that word while you write.)
- Use the section called Additional Comments to provide any information you would like to share that is not included elsewhere in the application.
- Combine similar activities when you list your extra-curriculars to show depth of involvement. For example, list all of your charity fundraising or all of your softball team participation together on one line. (Make certain to highlight your leadership roles.)
- Save your work before signing out if you take a break. When you have finished the application, print a copy for your records, submit it, and check for a verification of receipt email from the admissions office.
- Update your application, as needed, after submission. Updates can include, for example, changing your address, inputting new SAT/ACT scores or applying to an additional campus (if they are still taking applications).