Amount of effort needed to get into top UC's compared to Ivy's?

<p>Hey guys, basically my question is:</p>

<p>How much effort do you actually need to put into getting admitted into a top UC (UCLA, UCB, UCSD) or USC/Cal Tech compared to Ivy Leagues? (I will be referring to these colleges with the term UC, so I don't have to re-write all the names)</p>

<p>Going through this forum gives me the impression that you need to look super-duper outstanding in your resume, with stellar extracurricular activities, grades, etc. But then again, most of the threads I've looked over are posted by people aiming for Ivies. So the thought hit me that maybe getting into a decent UC wouldn't require such impressive resumes compared to Ivies?</p>

<p>I'm personally not aiming for an Ivy, but would like to know how much work I need to put into my resume in order to get into a good UC (this forum is kind of bad for that, since almost everyone is going for a top tier school, lol). Would you need to apply to those prestigious/well known summer programs (SSP, COSMOS, etc), join honor societies, and you know, pretty much any of the things the other CCers post in their "chance me to an ivy!" threads?</p>

<p>Also, is the National AP Scholar award worth striving for?</p>

<p>Thanks for any help in advance! I greatly appreciate it!</p>

<p>My understanding is that the UCs are much more stat-based than the Ivies. That is, your essays and ECs usually won't be the deciding factor between admission or not. However, OOS admission can kind of be a crapshoot. A good friend of mine was accepted to HYSM (waitlisted at Princeton), and was denied at UCB. </p>

<p>I think National AP Scholar is kind of a BS award, but obviously taking lots of APs and scoring well on them can't hurt. I'd focus more of my attention on SAT scores for the UCs.</p>

<p>I'm applying to several UCs OOS next year, so I have no personal experience, but I saw both my sisters and many friends go through the process.</p>

<p>I'm sorry, but what's OOS? x_x
and thanks for the input. </p>

<p>Would self-studying some APs for the National AP Scholar award look any worse than taking 8 AP courses leadering to that AP scholar award?</p>

<p>
[quote]
I'm personally not aiming for an Ivy, but would like to know how much work I need to put into my resume in order to get into a good UC (this forum is kind of bad for that, since almost everyone is going for a top tier school, lol). Would you need to apply to those prestigious/well known summer programs (SSP, COSMOS, etc), join honor societies, and you know, pretty much any of the things the other CCers post in their "chance me to an ivy!" threads?

[/quote]
</p>

<p>UC's are considered top schools and by all accounts UCB and UCLA are very well regarded, they in fact have their own forums under top colleges and universities. </p>

<p>UC's can get pretty competitive but they admit so many students. Getting into computer science or Electrical Engineering at Berkley is very difficult, especially if you are OOS (out of state). Which state are you from, CA? So are they more difficult than ivy's: No, but they can challenging even for candidates who get into Ivy's. The important thing is your stats, post them and then someone can guide you better.</p>

<p>BTW Caltech is not a UC or compared to a UC in terms of admissions. Caltech is much more similar to MIT.</p>

<p>Yes, I was aware of Cal Tech's status, thank you though.</p>

<p>Yes, I am from CA, and am currently a sophomore. There's not much stats I can post up right now except:</p>

<p>800 SAT II Chem
Taking ACT in June & Sept (expecting a 32+), and SAT in Oct (no prediction yet)</p>

<p>Freshman advanced courses: Geometry H, English H
Sophomore advanced courses: AP Chemsitry, Algebra 2H</p>

<p>4.0 UW GPA, not sure about my W GPA</p>

<p>Thanks for any input!</p>

<p>
[quote]
UC (UCLA, UCB, UCSD) or USC/Cal Tech compared to Ivy Leagues? (I will be referring to these colleges with the term UC, so I don't have to re-write all the names)

[/quote]
It does not make sense to ask questions about Cal Tech and USC as though they are "UCs." They are not UCs, they are individual private universities with their own application procedures and selection criteria. The answers you have received here only apply to UC admissions.</p>

<p>Being in-state, the best thing you can do is maintain that 4.0, or close to it, and get high test scores. The biggest difference between the UCs (or any state school for in-state applicants) is that they don't focus quite as heavily on "personal qualities" as the Ivies. What that means for you is, while you shouldn't go home and play video games all day, you still don't need to be national president of NHS or have done groundbreaking research to get in. You need solid stats, but for a kid with solid stats, admissions are less random than they are at top privates.</p>

<p>You seem to be on the right track. What are your ECs?</p>