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How the University of California Evaluates Applicants

What are they looking for? Freshman applicants to the University of California are evaluated based on 14 characteristics. Importantly, each of the nine undergraduate campuses gives different amounts of weight to these factors. If you're planning to apply, look at the selection process used by each individual campus. It will not only shed light on how your application will stack up at each school, but will also give you insight into the differences in values and culture between them. The factors considered are:

  1. GPA in a-g courses

  2. SAT/ACT scores

  3. Selection of and performance in other academic courses

  4. Selection of and performance in honors, AP, IB, college courses

  5. Rank in top 9% of your class

  6. Senior year course selection

  7. Academic performance relative to educational opportunities in your high school

  8. Outstanding performance in specific subject areas

  9. Outstanding work in special academic projects

  10. Recent, marked improvement in academic performance

  11. Special talents, skills, leadership potential

  12. Completion of special projects undertaken in the context of your high school curriculum or for special school events/programs.

  13. Academic accomplishments in light of difficult life experiences or special circumstances

  14. Location of your high school and residence

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