Tips from College Road Tutor Kathleen Harbottle
Before you hit submit on your UC app
–November is the window is now open for submitting UC applications. Any senior that wants to apply to one of the nine UC campuses must carefully meet all of the application requirements. The nine schools that make up the UC systems in California are:
• UC Davis
• UC Irvine
• UC Los Angeles
• UC Merced
• UC Riverside
• UC San Diego
• UC Santa Barbara
• UC Santa Cruz
Missing any part of the requirements can single-handedly disqualify the applicant. This strict adherence to meeting absolutely every requirement also holds true after the student has been accepted to the UC campus of their dreams.
Below are 10 tips for a senior before he/she hits submit:
1. Print this “Quick Start Guide” for freshmen: admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/counselors/files/apply-online-freshman-cal.pdf
2. Brainstorm: List achievements, activities, volunteer events, and interests, before you actually begin to write your essays.
3. Chose your topic for each essay wisely. The personal statement requires two essays:
a) Prompt #1: This should be an essay about your dreams and aspirations (and what you have done so far to achieve them)
b) Prompt #2: Think of a special talent, quality, accomplishment, contribution or experience (and how it impacted you as an individual)
4. Avoid “Special Characters” (bold, italics, etc.) The paste feature often turns special characters (ie: bold, italics, quotation marks, apostrophes, etc) into balderdash.
5. After you paste your essays into your application:
a. Proofread your essay again. The paste feature often reformats paragraphs and indentations.
b. Confirm the word count. Sometimes the count will vary and you cannot exceed the limit of 1000, or fall below the 250 minimum words for one of your essays.
6. Confirm that you have listed all schools you attended during high school. Include online courses, Junior College courses, etc.
7. SAT subject tests – check the UC campus website, specific department major, for which you are applying. If it says “highly recommended,” then submit two subject tests.
8. Reporting SAT/ACT Scores: UCs accept only your single-sitting, highest overall/composite score. Also, your ACT highest score must come from an “ACT-with Writing” exam.
9. Order your official test scores (ACT: www.actstudent.org SAT: www.collegeboard.org). You only need to have your report sent to one UC campus – it will be shared with the other UC campuses to which you apply.
10. Check the box for all UC campuses that you want to apply to, and submit before Nov. 25 (the window to submit is Nov. 1 – Nov. 30, but often the system is overloaded with students that wait until the last minute).