Chancing UC Admissions for Out of State, Without Test Scores?

Can anybody give me a sense of what my son’s chances of getting into UCLA, Berkeley, UCSB and UCSD might be?

As of the end of junior year last year my East coact-based son had an unweighted GPA of 3.9 and an uncapped weighted GPA of 4.19.

By the end of junior year he had taken and gotten As in 4 APs (AP World, French, AP English Composition, AP US History) and scored 5s on each of the tests; he is taking another 4 APs senior year and so far has As in all of them.

Our school does not award additional quality points for his 8 advanced/intensified/honors classes; he got one B: Algebra II Intensified sophomore year.

These are good academic results, but not outstanding at his public high school, which offers a total of 32 APs, and it is not uncommon for students to have 8 APs under their belts by the end of junior year. (For a lot of reasons that wouldn’t have made a lot of sense for my son, given hard work to overcome dyscalculia, and a lot of family stressors, prior to the end of sophomore year. ) So not wowing for an out of state applicant to UCLA.

But then he got a 35 on his ACTs (36 in both English sections, 35 science, 33 math) and we thought, yay, that might get home over the edge! And then UC went test blind, and we thought, oh no. Now what?

He has applied to UCLA, Berkeley, UCSB and UCSD. He is very strong in all the humanities, excellent in French (silver medalist in the national competition), very good at lab sciences and increasingly comfortable in math (getting As in AP Calc AB) but definitely not going to be a math or engineering major. His strongest interests are in psychology, philosophy and political science.

Not an athlete; editor in chief of the school newspaper, president of Young Dems, musician, won honorable mention for a documentary in a national competition.

He was born in LA but we’ve lived on the East coast for the last 10 years. Grandfather taught at UCLA, father, grandmother and two aunts went to UCLA, and he has wanted to go there since he was four and I was taking night classes there. :slight_smile: He also really liked UCSB; has spent time on Berkeley campus, but no tour there or UCSD.

With the ACT score I would have thought he had about a 40% chance at UCLA and Cal, and about 65% at UCSB and UCSD. Without it, I have literally no idea. Anybody have any insight?

The UC’s are test blind this admission cycle and do not consider legacy.

What is his UC GPA’s using this calculator (Unweighted, Capped Weighted and Fully Weighted)? UC’s only use 10-11th grades in the a-g course requirements and since he is OOS, only AP/IB and UC transferable DE courses will get the extra honors points in the calculation:

The UC’s will use 13 areas of criteria for their application review but in general: UC GPA’s, HS course rigor and essays will be considered Very Important. EC’s, volunteer and work experience are important, while first generation, state residency, special talents and projects are also considered.

Here is some UC statistical data based on the Capped weighted UC GPA to help gauge his chances.

2019 Freshman admit rates for UC GPA of 3.80-4.19 capped weighted and not major specific:

UCB: 12%

UCLA: 7%

UCSD: 33%

UCSB: 32%

2019 Freshman admit rates for UC GPA of 4.20 or above capped weighted and not major specific:

UCB: 38%

UCLA: 35%

UCSD: 71%

UCSB: 73%

2020 UC capped weighted GPA averages along with 25th-75th percentile range:

UCB: 4.22 (4.13-4.30)

UCLA: 4.25 (4.18-4.31)

UCSD: 4.16 (4.04-4.28)

UCSB: 4.15 (4.03-4.27)

UC’s tend to be unpredictable but being a full pay OOS applicant does have a slight advantage.

Best of luck to him.

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I think that he should have an excellent chance of admission to one or more of these UCs, but as the other poster noted, UCs are unpredictable. I would encourage your son to be mentally prepared to be on UC waitlists and to be ready to provide an update on Fall grades and new achievements since submitting the application. Last year the UCs used waitlists extensively. UCLA and UCB kept their waitlists open until well into the mid-summer.

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Thank you so very much, this is very helpful. Assuming I calculated it right, with 6 qualifying classes sophomore year and 7 junior, his weighted GPA (capped or not) comes out to 4.23 rather than 4.19. From your data it looks like that difference could be outcome-changing, at least at UCSB and UCSD. I just wish I felt sure that’s how he calculated it on the application… . I’m picking completely the wrong time to be tying myself in knots about this, of course – if I was going to helicopter, the time to do it was long before now! Thanks again for your insight!

And Sisternight, thank you so much for the insight about waitlists and the need to be mentally prepared for continued uncertainty! NONE of us would have been prepared for the idea of waitlists open into the summer otherwise! Thanks again for your thoughtfulness.

The UC app does not require a student to calculate and enter a GPA. The student enters their courses and the GPA is calculated on the backend.

Agree with other poster that UCs can be unpredictable. My 3 were accepted to UCLA and UCB. They relied on high GPA and scores. Mediocre ECs. Times are certainly different. Essay showed how they would contribute to campus. Essays were positive and upbeat.

Your son’s GPA.puts him in the range. My third ultimately was rejected from UCD and UCSD, but is in his third year at UCLA.

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The chances of admission do not change drastically between a WGPA of 3.19 and a WGPA of 4.20. Those are the average acceptance rate of students within the range of 3.80 to 4.19, and of the range of 4.20 and higher. So students with WGPAs of 4.19 are accepted to, say, UCB at a higher rate than 12%, and students with WGPAs of 4.23 are accepted at a lower rate than 38%. The acceptance rates of students with WPGAs of 4.19 and 4.23 are both likely somewhere in between these two.

So while your kid’s chances are likely better with a WGPA of 4.23 than with a WGPA of 4.19, we’re not talking about a jump of 12% to 38%, but likely one percentage point or so.

I assume that you are able to pay $65,000/year as the UC’s do not give financial aid or merit to out of state students.

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Actually the UC’s do offer merit aid: Regents and Chancellor Scholarships, but these are highly competitive and the amounts depending upon campus are a drop in the bucket in comparison to the $65K price tag.

Historically, both UCB and UCLA have provided higher amounts for Regent scholars that have financial need however, it is not clearly stated if OOS and International students are included in the extra need based FA. Due to Covid, many campuses are hurting so FA can be an issue.

UCLA specifically states: The Regents Scholarship need-based award is determined annually and is designed to supplement the Cal Grant A and B programs (CA residents), Pell Grant and other outside scholarship awards

UCB also states: Scholars with financial need are awarded a scholarship up to their full need as assessed by the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office.

Number of Scholarships Awarded: Varies annually—students in the top 1-2% of the applicant pool are considered for the scholarship.

Eligible Students: Entering freshman or transfer student who demonstrate academic excellence (based upon GPA, standardized test scores, and other academic criteria) along with personal accomplishments. Must be a US Citizen, Permanent Resident or CA Dream Act Student. Students must be enrolled full time and maintain a 3.25 GPA in order to continue receiving the scholarship.

He will probably get into UCSB but not the others. This will give you a feel for admit rate by campus for 4.2+GPA. Even so, OOS tuition is tough to rationalize.

If he really wants the CA College experience, privates like LMU. USD, Chapman and Santa Clara where he’d probably get generous merit aid. Not sure about their ap deadline but, worth investigation.

Good luck

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UCSB and UCSD have very similar average GPA admit rates. Your son’s very high unweighted GPA will help, as well as his focus on humanities and French in particular. It’s relatively uncommon. The admission standard at UCs tends to be higher for STEM majors. Your son’s rigor of coursework seems to be ambiguous since you mentioned that he took enhanced courses his sophomore year, but the school doesn’t give an extra point for those, whereas another school might.

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As a Californian, seeing that chart is a bit irritating because as you can see, the percentage of CA residents they accept has gone down since about 2012.

@Ukares: Yes the CA resident admission rate has decreased but the majority of applicants are from CA and the majority admitted are from CA.

Also OOS admits require overall higher Stats vs. CA residents.

Unfortunately schools need to find a balance in trying to keep affordability for in-state students which means admitting more full pay OOS and International students.

Although the OOS/International admit rates are higher than CA residents, only a few actually matriculate.

Admission Rates for California Applicants:

UCLA: 13.6%

UC Berkeley: 20.2%

UC Irvine: 22.7%

UC Santa Barbara: 35.4%

UC San Diego: 34.1%

UC Davis: 39.7%

UC Santa Cruz: 62.0%

UC Riverside: 65.4%

UC Merced: 93.7%

Admission Rates for Out-of-State Applicants (Domestic):

UCLA: 20.7%

UC Berkeley: 18.3%

UC Santa Barbara: 53.1%

UC Irvine: 63.6%

UC San Diego: 60.3%

UC Davis: 72.1%

UC Merced: 64.9%

UC Riverside: 79.2%

UC Santa Cruz: 83.3%

Admission Rates for International Applicants:

UCLA: 9.3%

UC Berkeley: 8.7%

UC San Diego: 35.7%

UC Santa Barbara: 31.7%

UC Irvine: 44.0%

UC Davis: 60.0%

UC Merced: 58.9%

UC Riverside: 71.7%

UC Santa Cruz: 75.5%

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Despite the declining admit rate, the total # of CA Freshman admits has gone up quite a bit at all of the campuses - which of course indicates a larger increase in applications submitted.

Campuses need to grow in an orderly fashion or you get constraints in housing etc. It also undermines the student experience and quality of education. For example, Davis which IMHO, has grown so large it is easy for incoming freshmen to get lost, literally and figuratively. While great for some, it’s not an environment where just anyone can thrive. I know of several students who struggled, while no one noticed and had to take a quarter off as a mental heath break. Their families tell me that is far more common than you’d think.

@drewcollege4: Please start your own discussion. It is considered rude by CC standards to hijack another posters discussion.

Woops! So sorry - didn’t realize that. Thanks for letting me know. I thought you were supposed to try to keep similar things on one thread and didn’t realize it was not the thing to do.

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Weighted capped UC gpa - 3.64 (I know, yikes)
SAT score - 1540
PSAT (junior year) - don’t remember but 96th percentile

AP Classes:
-Freshman Year
AP Human Geography: Score of 4
-Sophomore Year:
AP World History: Score of 5
AP Physics 1: Score of 3
AP Computer Science A: not being submitted
AP Environmental Science: not being submitted
- Junior Year:
AP United States History: 4 (prediction)
AP English Language: 5 (prediction)
AP Biology: 4 (prediction)
AP Calculus BC: 4 (prediction)
AP Physics C Mechanics: 3 (prediction)
AP Physics C Electricity and Magnetism: 2 (prediction)
AP Spanish Language and Culture: 5 (prediction)
-Senior Year:
AP Phycology
AP Seminar
AP English Literature
AP Spanish Literature
AP Chemistry
AP Statistics
AP Government
AP Economics
AP Physics 2

Extracurriculars: Younger then grade level (will be 16 at time of graduation) thus internships/volunteering was limited due to age restrictions. Same thing with work experience.

  • Arabic School Volunteering
  • Teaching math to elementary School students who don’t speak English
  • Possibly hospital volunteering this summer when I am of age.

Immigrant, first generation US college student, moving many times inside of the US including across states, low income family, couldn’t work bc of age/immigration papers, 16 at time of graduation

3 clubs sophomore year, none junior year (covid)

Significant improvement in GPA from sophomore year to 1st semester junior year to 2nd semester junior year

biochemistry or molecular/cell biology major, pre med route. Planning on applying to all the UC’s except for Merced and I am out of state. Thoughts on chances of admission?

no rec letters required

@jbhafbharf, please note above info.
Make your own thread. You are hijacking.
FYI: OOS Low income means you can’t afford the public UC’s. Costs=$65K per year.
Minimal scholarships that generally run about $2K per year. If you are doing the “pre-med” route, you need to save $300K for med school.