University of California Holistic Review

Holistic Admission
Students enjoying the sunshine in front of UCLA Royce Hall

UC Holistic Review Includes 14 Factors of Consideration

The table here shows GPA and test scores from students admitted to UC in 2014

  Admit Rate Avg GPA
25th - 75th
SAT Math
25th - 75th
SAT Reading
25th - 75th
SAT Writing
25th - 75th
Berkeley 17% 3.89 4.39 29 - 34 650 - 770 620 - 740 640 - 760
UCLA 18% 3.89 4.39 28 - 34 660 - 770 620 - 740 640 - 760
San Diego 33% 4.13 30 699 651 667
Irvine 34% 4.08 27 660 590 610
UCSB 36% 3.90 - 4.20 29 662 623 640
Davis 40% 3.95 - 4.24 27-32 620 - 750 560 - 690 590 - 710
Riverside 56% 3.77 25 603 562 574
Santa Cruz 56% 3.82 27 616 579 589
Merced 64% 3.61 24 563 535 540

With so much emphasis on GPA and Test Scores it is hard not to lose sight of the fact that there are additional factors that carry weight with regards to any students chance for admission. The UC’s established a list of fourteen factors to help guide each campus as they consider admission for any given individual; University of California Holistic Review . GPA and Test scores are two of them. Each campus (and specific colleges on each campus) assign various weight to these 14 factors. The holistic admission process was designed to provide the opportunity for each campus to identify additional forms of achievement that may not be captured by an individuals GPA or test scores.

Here is the Complete List of 14 Factors of Consideration for Admission for Holistic Review as stated by the University of California:

  1. Academic grade point average in all completed “a-g” courses, including additional points for completed UC-certified honors courses.
  2. Scores on the following tests: ACT Plus Writing or the SAT Reasoning Test.
  3. Number of, content of and performance in academic courses beyond the minimum “a-g” requirements.
  4. Number of and performance in UC-approved honors, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate Higher Level and transferable college courses.
  5. Identification by UC as being ranked in the top 9 percent of your high school class at the end of your junior year (ELC).
  6. Quality of your senior-year program as measured by the type and number of academic courses in progress or planned.
  7. Quality of your academic performance relative to the educational opportunities available in your high school.
  8. Outstanding performance in one or more specific subject areas.
  9. Outstanding work in one or more special projects in any academic field of study.
  10. Recent, marked improvement in academic performance as demonstrated by academic GPA and the quality of coursework completed or in progress.
  11. Special talents, achievements and awards in a particular field, such as visual and performing arts, communication or athletic endeavors; special skills, such as demonstrated written and oral proficiency in other languages; special interests, such as intensive study and exploration of other cultures; experiences that demonstrate unusual promise for leadership, such as significant community service or significant participation in student government; or other significant experiences or achievements that demonstrate the student’s promise for contributing to the intellectual vitality of a campus.
  12. Completion of special projects undertaken in the context of your high school curriculum or in conjunction with special school events, projects or programs.
  13. Academic accomplishments in light of your life experiences and special circumstances, including but not limited to: disabilities, low family income, first generation to attend college, need to work, disadvantaged social or educational environment, difficult personal and family situations or circumstances, refugee status or veteran status.
  14. Location of your secondary school and residence.
  15. New! Berkeley just added a 15th factor; two letters of recommendation will be accepted for fall 2015 application cycle. Just Berkeley.

So be sure to take time to fully explain in your application any of these additional areas where you may shine brightly in the holistic review process. Don’t give up, instead reflect on all that is special about you as an individual and what you can contribute to any UC.