UCLA, Berkeley *DO* consider freshman year grades in admissions

<p>I have read one too many times on this forum that the UC system does not consider freshman year high school grades. I have read that SO many times that I thought it worthwhile to create a thread to correct this misinterpretation of what UC GPA is, and how admissions decisions are made.</p>

<p>It is absolutely true that "UC GPA" does not count grades earned freshman year, which is technically Aug/Sept. of freshman year through May/June. Any summer courses taken after 9th grades are considered part of 10th grade, and count in UC GPA. UC GPA also limits AP extra points to eight semester classes, which sometimes people forget.</p>

<p>However, UC GPA is not that relevant! It is used to make decisions about who is eligible for the nine campus UC SYSTEM, not who is best qualified for individual UCs.</p>

<p>Here is the webpage describing UCLA's admissions criteria: UCLA</a> Undergraduate Admissions and Relations with Schools: Freshman Admission Process here is a brief portion:</p>

<p>"The academic elements we consider are:</p>

<ul>
<li> Academic grade point average (GPA), calculated using 10th and 11th grade UC–approved courses only. </li>
<li> Performance on standardized tests: the ACT Assessment Plus Writing or the SAT Reasoning Test, and two SAT Subject Tests in two different subject areas [English, history and social studies, mathematics (Math Level 2 only), science, or language]. </li>
<li> The strength of your senior year program. </li>
<li> Quality, quantity, and level of course work TAKEN THROUGHOUT YOUR ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM, especially course work completed beyond the minimum a–g courses required for eligibility to the University of California. "</li>
</ul>

<p>and a few more criteria.</p>

<p>UC Berkeley and UCLA both use the same procedures to select applicants that most selective schools use -- a year by year review of the exact courses on the transcript -- which includes noting how many APs were taken beyond the 8 semesters counted in "weighted UC GPA", and other <em>qualitative</em> impressions. distinctions are made between AP Bio and AP Enviro, between Calculus A/B, and Calculus B/C, between AP Physics and AP Statistics, etc., etc. An impression of capability far beyond "UC GPA" and formed by noting performance in each and every class.</p>

<p>I don't know where people got the impression that freshman high school grades don't matter to UCLA and UC Berkeley. an ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM is just that... including 9th grade.</p>

<p>I think it would be a shame if people who read this board mistakenly advise rising 8th graders that their freshman high school grades do not matter. I actually had a Berkeley Junior, whom I like and respect very much, tell a 9th grader I know exactly that! Imagine if that person were to decide to ease up and get a few Bs freshman year because they thought it would not matter to adcoms at UCLA and UC Berkeley!</p>

<p>Thank god for this thread. When did people start thinking 1/4th of their grades are "not relevant"?</p>

<p>I understood that to mean that they consider the strength of your 9th grade schedule, but your grades therein aren't taken into account. I may be wrong, though.</p>

<p>TheWerg -- depends on what you mean by "taken into account". An adcom reviews your transcript. Each class, each grade, each year. They form an opinion (grades are part of the input into an opinion). Whether the freshman year grades form a part of UC GPA is irrelevant, as the impression has been made. You can't make that horse go back into the barn.</p>

<p>There <em>are</em> formula UC schools. I believe they are UCSD and UC Davis, where points are assigned tor UC GPA, SATs, SAT IIs, stength of extra curriculars, and several environmental factors like single parent home, underperforming High School, 1st Generation College, etc. The points are summed, and an applicant either did or did not pass the point threshold for that year's admitted class. UCLA and UCB are not "Formula UCs".</p>

<p>UCLA rep came to our school some time ago (1-2 months, max) and said clearly that they don't consider Freshman grades. Meaning, if you did horrible freshman year and super soph and junior, then you still have a great chance because they don't consider Freshman grades!</p>

<p>sushifureak... that's not what it says on UCLA's website, and it is not congruent with common sense. They don't consider Freshman grades to establish UC eligibility... that's it. And it is true that if you do great sophomore and junior years, you <em>do</em> have a chance!.... just less than if you did great all three years.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Academic grade point average (GPA), calculated using 10th and 11th grade UC–approved courses only

[/quote]
</p>

<p>The UC's recalculate your GPA and DO NOT take freshman grades into consideration. Duh.</p>

<p>This is straight from your straight-from-UCLA's-website quote ;)</p>

<p>
[quote]
Quality, quantity, and level of course work TAKEN THROUGHOUT YOUR ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM, especially course work completed beyond the minimum a–g courses required for eligibility to the University of California

[/quote]
</p>

<p>That being said, the UC's obviously will see what you took freshman year, but will clearly not give it as much weight as 10th and 11th grade.</p>

<p>Wait, hold on... now I've confused myself... do the UC's ask for your freshman year courses (but not grades) along with your sophomore and junior year grades and courses? Or do they simply ask for your 10th-11th grade courses and grades--thus not seeing freshman year/courses/grades altogether?</p>

<p>UCs ask for grades and courses from all 4 years. However, from my understanding elsewhere (not from this thread), UCs only look and consider 10th and 11th grade grades in the admission process.</p>

<p>and also...
How important is your ranking for UC admission (UCLA/UCB)? Do they look at 9-12 ranking or 10-11 ranking?</p>

<p>sushifreak, </p>

<p>I agree it is confusing. That's the purpose of this post. Although I could be wrong, I don't see any evidence that 9th grade grades are not part of the evaluation of the entire transcript.</p>

<p>There is a difference between "does this applicant qualify for UC admissions?", and "does this applicant qualify for UCLA admissions"? Two different questions, two different procedures. In the former, "weighted UC GPA" is a major criterion. as is "UC class rank". "UC Class Rank" is critical in the "Eligibility in the local Context" back door policy. Welcome</a> to ELC That GPA is 10-11th grades, cap on AP bonus points, a-g courses only, etc. Once an applicant is clearly qualified to apply to the UCs, each UC then makes its <em>own</em> evaluation about whether the applicant is qualified for that particular UC. Berkeley is the hardest, then UCLA. </p>

<p>As I wrote in post #1, UCLA and Berkeley appear to evaluate an applicant using the same procedures and judgements used at any Top 30 program... not a formula, but an aggregation of impressions from reviewing the entire file -- the entire file includes a look at 9th grade performance.</p>

<p>hotasice, how can a school remove from a student's transcript all the non a-g courses, and the grades from freshman year? That would require two completely separate transcripts... one for UCs, another for every other college. I can't image an high school has the personnel to do that.</p>

<p>DunninLA, the UC application does not require an official transcript from your high school when you apply. It only asks you for the transcript after you are accepted and decide to enroll. The courses and grades are self reporting in your application.</p>

<p>Christian2 -- thanks for that information...</p>

<p>I've gone to the UCLA website and downloaded the applicaiton... YOU DO HAVE TO LIST 9th GRADE CLASSES, AND GRADES. You obviously cannot fabricate 9th grade because, as you say, they later do review the school's official transcript for congruency with the self-reported courses/grades.</p>

<p>So, although my comment above about reviewing the official transcript appears to be incorrect, what's the difference? You still list your 9th grade courses, and grades, and those are simply not used to calculate "UC GPA", or UC Class rank. It does NOT say they don't look at them, form an opinion about them, or anything else that would lead me to conclude they "don't matter".</p>

<p>Here's the application. See page 4. <a href="http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/undergrad_adm/apply/pdf/Application_FR.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/undergrad_adm/apply/pdf/Application_FR.pdf&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>If freshman grades are not calculated in the overall UC recalculated GPA, that action in itself says they are not important. If they were, they'd be part of the recalculated GPA.</p>

<p>Obviously they will see your freshman year courses and grades, no one's arguing the contrary. </p>

<p>Every single college will weigh junior year and sophomore year grades MUCH MORE than freshman year courses and grades, trust me. It's not just UC's that do not take freshman grades into consideration--Princeton doesn't, either. The freshman year grades and courses are just "there," but very insignificant when compared to junior year and sophomore year.</p>

<p>Stop with this nonsense about freshman year grades being more important than they really are in the UC's eyes.</p>

<p>Hotasice, we actually agree. In my view junior year grades are the most important, followed by 1st semester Sr. year, and then sophomore year, and lastly freshman year -- same with course selection. The point of the post is that many have written on this BB (dangerously incorrectly, unless someone can enlighten me) regarding UC admission that:</p>

<p>1) the adcom does not see 9th grade courses or grades
2) poor performance in 9th grade doesn't matter to the adcom</p>

<p>by inference, an unwise person might conclude that they can goof off during 9th grade, get a few Bs, with impunity.</p>

<p>
[quote]
UC GPA also limits AP extra points to eight semester classes, which sometimes people forget.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Thank you, I did not know this. Does "eight semester classes" mean the same thing as 4 year-long AP courses? Or do you have a link to this info? Thank you.</p>

<p>Bay, I used to know how to get to the obscure section of the UCOP website where it defined this.... here is another website which references the 8 semester (4 year long courses) cap on the AP extra point. It also disallows the AP point for classes taken freshman year.</p>

<p>CaliforniaColleges.edu</a> - Calculating Your GPA</p>

<p>Now, to reinforce what I said in prior posts, this ONLY AFFECTS UC GPA. So even though a person may take 7 AP year long courses, only four may bump the gpa.</p>

<p>So the question is.... if a person takes AP class #5, and #6, and gets Bs, it does drag down gpa, since they only count for 3 points, not the normal 3+1 for being AP. However, I believe an adcom would rather see AP courses #5 and #6 with Bs, than two similar classes in the regular curriculum in which the student receives As. It speaks to the person's willingness to challenge themself. This is assuming of course that the B grades does not cause a person's gpa to fall below the UC minimum standard for application to the UC system. In that case, where a person is barely qualifying for UC, I would think twice about taking AP classes that might drag me below the minimum threshold for UC.</p>

<p>Again, another reason why "UC GPA" is not the most important metric in an application. The adcom will review each and every class, and the limitations of what counts toward "UC GPA" is irrelevant to a complete evaluation of an applicant's file.</p>

<p>The other thing to remember is that I am speaking ONLY of UCLA and Berkeley in this thread. The "Formula UC's" like UCSD and I think Davis might require a strategy where UC GPA is more important than the actual rigor of coursework taken during high school. And I suppose freshman year grades are also irrelevant to the "formula UCs", but haven't looked at that carefully enough to say.</p>

<p>so if i did horribly(2 B's 1C) during 1st semester of freshman year i'll have to go to community college? that was my first semester in USA and i missed a lot(</p>

<p>Anastasia... no. Not the case. Lots of kids entering UCs this fall had a bunch of Bs and even a C or two or three. The average <em>weighted</em> gpa at Irvine, for example was 3.9. The range was probably 3.4 - 4.5. At UC Riverside the average was probably about 3.6, with a range of 3.0 (ELC) to 4.3). </p>

<p>I am only speaking of UCLA and UC Berkeley. The other campuses are less selective, and a poor freshman year will matter less than at UCB and UCLA where there are several thousand applicants with 4.1 and above gpa's each year!</p>

<p>I'd like to clear up this thread. UC's do not look at freshmen grades. It says on both the UCLA site and the UC Berkeley site. From the Berkeley site: "your weighted, uncapped UC grade-point average and pattern of grades over time." The UC grade-point average uses 10th and 11th grade GPA's. From the UCLA site: "Academic grade point average (GPA), calculated using 10th and 11th grade UC–approved courses only." </p>

<p>So there.</p>