Does personal circumstances matter(UCLA)?

Lemme describe my situation:
1-During my sophomore year, a sickness in the family caused my grade to drop to Cs (and even one F). However, I got all As my freshman and Junior year and my schedule was mostly honors/Ap. I also took a lot of (like 10) college courses and finished them all with an A. However, my uw gpa (not considering the college courses) is still 3.5. In terms of ec, I couldnt do much because of my situation and now (in my junior year) I started working on a history blog and Im planning to do some volunteering this summer. Given good Ap test scores and good SAT and ACT, what are my chances of getting into UCLA? Any similar stories? Please share I’m stressing…

Understand that UCLA is a reach school for all. Are you instate?

I believe the UCs don’t consider freshman grades. They primarily look at your soph and junior grades. Therefore, it seems that UCLA will be a very high reach for you. Here is how to calculate your GPA for the UCs: GPA requirement | UC Admissions

There is not much point in stressing over what you can’t change. Your best bet to have a good list of safe, match and reach schools. I am sure UCLA will consider whatever extenuating circumstances you include in your app, and you should ask your GC to also mention these circumstances, but please understand that there will be other students who have also had troubles and maintained high grades. Those are the people you are competing with.


UCLA will be test blind for 2022 admission cycle. You can address any extenuating circumstances in one of your personal insight essays. If UCLA needs more information, they will ask you to fill out a supplemental/augmented review where you can describe in detail the previous issues.

As noted by @Lindagraf, UCLA should be considered a Reach school for all applicants so start from the bottom up and make a balanced college list with several safety and match schools before focusing on some Reach schools.

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Don’t count on the UCs caring about why you have a low GPA and rank, just that you do. Shoot for the stars with applications, but be realistic and put in plenty of solid/safe choices as well.

My kid had seriously legit medical reasons on the front end of school. She came back like a champ with straight A’s, even while fighting issues. Honestly, the UCs didn’t care. Flat denials all over the board. Now the private schools loved her, but UCs, not so much.

It’s you who makes your opportunities in life through your actions and character. Aim high, but cover all your bases for plan B. Keep in mind that there isn’t a set path to a great life, and it surely isn’t just through UCLA (or even the UCs).

Yes it matters! My son was sick his sophomore year, grades dropped, had some C’s. Rest of grades junior and senior year were very good. Wrote about all of it …got a supplemental app from UCLA, which means he was on the cusp of getting in…he didn’t get in to UCLA, but did get in to Davis and couldn’t be happier and Davis is the best fit for him. I do believe the UC’s really do a holistic evaluation of the application. Good luck, keep your grades up and write thoughtful and positive PQR’s and work part time. Maybe UCLA, maybe not. But… maybe one of the other UC’s. Good luck to you and enjoy the process. You will end up where you are suppose to end up.