The UC Admissions Process: 2012


  • UC freshmen admissions increasingly competitive
  • UCLA in-state admissions as competitive as Cornell
  • UC Berkeley median weighted GPA 4.34
  • ELC Calculator known as Admissions Index
  • ETR-Entitled to Review

The UC freshman admissions numbers just released for this fall, and the competitiveness is evident at every campus except UCSD, whose admit rate stayed about the same.  Yet, don’t treat these numbers at face value. To accurately gauge how competitive the UCs are becoming for in-state students, it’s necessary to subtract the admissions offers to out-of-state and international students.

At UCLA, for example, the actual number of admission slots for in-state students is 15,455 – 6,192 (the number of slots given to non-California freshmen) = 9,263. The number of in-state applicants was 52,231, which translates to a 17.7% admissions rate. This is comparable to the admission rate at Cornell, which, for the Class of 2015, was 17.9%.  UCLA is now more competitive, in-state, than an Ivy League school. Sadly, for upcoming Californian applicants, this is going to become even more pronounced over the next years.


  UC Frosh Admissions    

Totl Frosh Apps

Stdnts Admit % Admit 2012/2011 # Stdnts Out State Admit  
UCB 61,695  13,037 21.2%/25.8% 3,690  
UCLA 72,626  15,455 21.3%/22.8% 6,192  
UCSD 60,819  22,939 37.7%/35.1% 3,186  
UCD 49,389  22,538 45.6%/48.4% 3,616  
UCSB 54,807  23,803 43.4%/46.4% 4,873  
UCI 54,465  19,806 36.3%/47.6% 3,851  
UCSC 32,941  19,936 60.5%/68.0% 1,671  
UCR 29,879  18,375 61.4%/68/9% 1,322  
UCM 12,838   9,874 76.9%/87.7%    323  


Consequently, gaining admissions to a campus such as Berkeley is becoming ever more challenging. Last year, the median weighted GPA at Berkeley was 4.14. This year it’s 4.36, though, the composite SAT median actually decreased slightly to 2068 from 2073 (statistically insignificant).

On top of the increased level of competitiveness at the UC campuses, a number of changes within the UC admissions process were introduced with this fall’s freshman class. These changes need clarification, as they’ve caused confusion. If you go to the new UC Admissions website for freshmen you’ll discover its “2012 Admissions Index” calculator that determines whether applicants are in the top 9% of California high school students. This 9% of the collective California high school class is tagged ELC (eligibility local content) and all are guaranteed a place somewhere on one of the UC campuses (which could be Merced; there are no guarantees as to campus).   

What’s confusing is when students, or counselors, go to what, in effect, is the ELC calculator, and input GPA, standardized test scores…and follow such rules as “give yourself an extra point for each honors level course, up to 8 semesters for 10th and 11th grade courses.” Many think this calculator is actually determining admissions chances and that the ELC scales pertain to the actual admission’s process at individual UC campuses. 

ELC status is just one component of the actual UC campus admissions process. Furthermore, even if you’re not part of the ‘9%’, according to the new UC admissions guidelines, another 3.5% of the admissions spots are being allocated to students who are ‘entitled to review’ (ETR) and, though not part of the top 9%, have taken 11 courses and have qualities warranting consideration. (Under the original UC admissions plan, the top 12.5% of each high school class was considered ELC).

UC admissions decisions are made ‘holistically’ across 14 criteria listed on the UC Admission’s site, some of which include: GPA in all a-g courses completed by the end of junior year; standardized test scores—either SAT or ACT with writing (note the 2 required SAT Subject tests were eliminated with this fall’s classes—though the admissions site does reference that the engineering colleges at UCB, UCLA, UCR, and UCSB still recommend  Math 2C and a science subject test of choice be submitted); number and performance in courses beyond the a-g courses; number of AP and Honors courses taken; outstanding performance in one or two academic areas; ELC identification; quality of senior year course load; special talents; outside academic accomplishments; quality of academic performance in relation to educational opportunities available in your high school; experiences that demonstrate leadership potential; and  projects indicating strong intellectual vitality. There is no calculator to predict admissions to a UC campus.

The battle for a spot on UC campuses is becoming ever more contested with each ensuing year.  To be successful, you need to be informed and to attain test scores and grades that are close or above the medians of the campuses to which you’re applying. You also need to present yourself in the personal statements and the general application, as an applicant who has solid talents, leadership capabilities, and strong intellectual curiosity and vitality. All this might get you into UCLA, or even Cornell: but it’s whole lot colder there.  

2012년 UC 입학심사과정

  • 경쟁률 증가
  • UCLA 캘리 주민 입학은 Cornell에 비교됨
  • UC Berkeley입학의 중간 성적: GPA 4.34
  • ELC 입학지표
  • ETR (Entitled to Review)등급

UC의 이번 가을 신입생 숫자가 밝혀졌다.  그 경쟁률이 전년도와 같은 UCSD를 제외하고는 모두 경쟁률이 높아졌다.  그러나 이 숫자만으로 평가해서는 안 된다.  UC의 캘리 주민 입학률이 더 경쟁적이 되었다.  그러므로 타주 입학생과 외국인 학생의 숫자를 제외하고 고려해야 한다.

예를 들면, UCLA의 경우, 캘리주민 학생은 15,455-6,102 (비주민 입학생수)=9,263명이다.  주민 응시자의 숫자는 52,231명으로 17.7% 입학률에 해당된다.  Cornell을 살펴 보면, Class of 2015의 경우 입학률이 17.9%이었다.  그래서 UCLA가 아이비리그보다 더 주민 경쟁률이 높아 졌다.  예상하건데, 내년에는 더 높아 질것으로 예상된다 (2012 UC School Freshman Admissions 참조).

결과적으로 UC Berkeley의 입학은 더 경쟁이 심하다.  작년 중간 GPA가 4.14이었으나, 올해는 4.36이고, SAT 중간치는 작년 2073에서 올해는 2063이지만 통계적인 차이는 없는 점수이다.

UC 캠퍼스의 경쟁률이 이렇게 높아지고 있는 현상에 UC 입학사정실에서는 몇 가지 변화를 발표했다.  새로운 발표는 혼동을 일으키기 쉬우므로 명확히 아는 것이 필요하다.  먼저, UC 입학 웹싸이트에 가면, “2012 입학 지수”계산에서 응시생이 캘리 고교생 중 9%에 속하는지를 나타내고 있다.  전체 캘리 고교생 중에서의 9%를 말하며, ELC(지역우선)이며, 이에 속하는 학생들은 UC 어느 한 대학에 자리를 배정받을 수 있다 (물론 Merced가 될 수도 있으며, 캠퍼스는 보장하지 않는다).

학생들이나 상담자가 혼동되는 것은 이 ELC계산과 GPA, 표준시험고사 성적…그리고, “10학년과 11학년에 아너 수준의 과목을 8과목 이상일 때 추가점수를 준다….”는 설명이다.  많은 사람들은 이 계산에서 ELC 점수가 각 UC 캠퍼스에 입학을 결정한다고 여긴다.

그러나, ELC는 UC 캠퍼스의 입학의 한 요건일 뿐이다.  만약 9%에 속하지 않더라도, 그 아래 3.5%도 ETR(입학을 위한 리뷰대상)에 속한다.  비록 9%에는 못 들었지만 11과목을 들었다면, 고려 대상이 된다(그래서 실제로는 캘리 고교생의 상위 12.5%는 ELC에 속한다).

UC 입학은 전체적으로 14개의 기준이 있다: GPA (11학년까지 a-g과목을 이수); 표준고사-SAT 또는 ACT+writing (2과목의 SAT Subject시험은 제외되었다—그러나, UCB, UCLA, UCR, UCSB의 공과대학은 Math 2C와 과학을 추천하고 있다); a-g과목의 숫자와 성적; AP/Honor의 숫자; 특정 과목에서의 우수성; ELC에 속하기; 12학년의 교과목 수준; 특별 재능, 교외에서의 학업성취 업적; 교내에서의 학업성취 업적; 리더십의 자질; 강한 지적 능력을 보이는 프로젝트.  그러나 어느 캠퍼스가 가능한지는 알 수 없다.

UC에 한 자리를 맡기 위한 전쟁은 매년 치열하게 계속되고 있다.  성공하기 위해서는 여러분이 가고자 하는 캠퍼스의 중간성적에 도달해야 한다.  또한 에세이에서 여러분을 잘 표현해야 하며, 여러분이 가진 재능, 리더십 능력, 지적 호기심과 생동감을 보여주어야 한다.  그럴때, UCLA 아니면 Cornell (비록 이곳은 춥지만)에 들어갈 수 있다.