Stop juggling and start writing.  It’s UC application season!          by Patti Brugman


Picking the right UC—One application does it all.

Send your application well before the due date—you don’t want to be a victim of the November 30th computer crash of 2011!

         Now that it’s mid-November, it’s the time to put down those juggling pins and start your application to the University of California. The wonderful thing about the UC application is that one button does it all. You can fill in your application, write your essays, and then check as many schools as you would like to apply to. But, as in juggling, you need to be careful and well-balanced. Despite the ease of the process, there are reasons for you to be selective when choosing your fit for a University of California campus.

         First of all, let’s look at the requirements for admission to any UC. The UC system is reknowned for giving an excellent education.  For this reason, they receive an abundance of applications. As with any school on your list, you’ll want your application to rise to the top, not sink to the bottom. 

         Let’s make sure you have the “floating power” that you need.  Check your transcript, the most important piece in your application package.  Have you taken all the classes required for UC admission?  Check the UC website at:  Do you have the 3.0 minimum grade point average necessary for UC admission?  And, if your schools offers AP or IB courses, have you taken and done well in those classes? 

         Also, for admission to the UC system, you need good scores on either the SAT or ACT tests.  While there are no posted minimum scores, a look at will tell you that SATs below 450 or ACTs below 19 are an admissions problem for even the least competitive of the UC schools. Be wise and be realistic. Your applicant schools want you to be where you will succeed. Also, remember that while more and more smaller schools are inclined to “superscore” your SATs, the UC system does not. They use a “single-sitting” scoring system which means that they will consider your best SAT or ACT test, only.

         While the UC no longer requires SAT II tests, they are recommended for admission to many of the schools including: Berkeley, UCLA and Santa Barbara.  In these cases, “recommended” means that you will not be competitive unless you take the subjects tests suggested by the school you’re applying to.  Look it up and check it out.

         Finally, the UC system offers the best education to aggressive learners who are eager to learn, determined to do well, and are not shy about crowds.  Big, power houses like these are not for everyone. In order to be admitted and to ultimately succeed at any school, consider the kind of person you are and apply wisely.  Then go back to your juggling and enjoy life a little!