UC Application 2017-18 | Will I get in?

UC Application Strategy — Are You Competitive?

UC Application season is here and it’s time to finalize your college list!  I created this chart  for a student who was having a difficult time knowing if her final list was solid. The custom chart provides data on each of the colleges on her list.  A good list will include a full spectrum of “Reach, Target and Likely” schools.  A solid list will have a broad range of selectivity rates and a high percentage of schools where both your GPA and test scores fall in the “Above Average

UC Application 2016
UC Application 2016

Range”. To know if you are competitive as an applicant, compare your test scores and GPA to the 75th percentile GPA and test scores highlighted in green. It’s ok to include a few reach schools on your list; reach schools are any schools where your GPA and test scores are closer to the 25th percentile. On my chart I highlighted these numbers in red.  If you are applying for a very selective major such as engineering, you will need to have excellent test scores and GPA.

If you are not happy with your test scores keep in mind some students perform much better on one test or the other (ACT or SAT). Have you had any test prep help? Strategy is important to earn the highest score possible. If you can get some test prep help it will boost your confidence and score. A little money up front could help you earn scholarships and save money in the long run. I recommend a few private sessions this summer with a good test prep coach to boost your score. Focus on the test you performed best on. It’s difficult to prepare well for both the SAT & ACT at the same time, and you don’t need to. It’s ok if you apply before you have your final scores. Just be sure to list the future test dates on your application.

4 thoughts on “UC Application 2017-18 | Will I get in?

  • April 29, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    Hi Ed,

    The UCs do not plan their admission decisions together, in fact each campus and department may evaluate students differently. Congratulations on UCB for computer science. I can’t imagine a more exciting place to study CS than in the heart of silicon valley. 3.6 unweighted is below average for UCB and especially for CS. Your son can only attend one university, be thrilled he was admitted to a number of great choices. I hope he is excited and does not the L&S CS option for granted. It’s extremely competitive, a wonderful ROI and opportunity.

    Go Cal!


  • April 11, 2017 at 11:47 am

    Oh, he was waitlisted for UCSD, as well

  • April 11, 2017 at 11:46 am

    Wish I had found this site before November, but not sure what we might have done differently. Just trying to get a feel for why the dominoes fell the way they did. We applied to all UCs except Merced, and were only accepted to UCR, UCSC, and UCB, which is an odd distribution. All was computer science, but UCB was for Letters and Science, and not the engineering school. Our child had a 3.6 GPA, unweighted, and a 34 composite ACT

    The question I have is whether this would have been an expected result, and whether the schools can see which schools were applied to, which potentially alters their decision process, i.e., would UCLA and others reject him because they would assume he would get accepted into UCB L&S?


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