UC's do not read college application essays

<p>I heard 3rd hand from a reliable person (at least reliable enough to pass on 2nd hand information) that a student went to one of those school events in which a UC officer comes and talks about admissions and college. Eventually mentioned was that the UC's do not really look at the essays at all, stating that there just is not enough money.</p>

<p>Made me think.</p>

<p>Of course I'd love to hunt down the person who said this and confirm, but I cannot find him. Has anyone heard something like this, or knows anything of this sort?</p>

<p>I've been under the impression that GPA is a major factor in UC admissions, with test scores coming at a far 2nd, and thus EC/Essays becoming pretty negligible.</p>

<p>If they did not look at ECs or Essay, UCLA/UCB admissions would be too predictable. I have seen many cases where given the same economic background from the same school, the kid with the higher rank/SAT didn't get in while the lower ranked applicant got in. Figured it must be the ECs or essay. Either way, better to put your best foot forward in all aspects.</p>

<p>That might apply for the lower UCs, but an admissions officer for UCLA told me that the essays are really important, and I'm pretty sure the same applies to UCB. She could have been exaggerating their importance, but I'm sure they do get read at least.</p>

<p>@fall2016
I've seen the same, though the student's essay was mediocre at best (new immigrant) and had virtually no EC's). SAT's were very low too. Decent GPA, but good scores in the STEM areas (Engineering major).</p>

<p>Perhaps randomness is a bigger factor than we think.</p>

<p>I know for a fact that UC Berkeley hires outside readers to slog through all the application essays. Yes they read them, it just may not be the full time admissions officers reading them.</p>

<p>thanks for your input qialah, care to share how you know it as a fact, and any more details to inform our community?</p>

<p>both UCLA and Cal do use app readers, who are locals, such as retired teachers, counselors and the like. The two flagships definitely read the essays.</p>

<p>I think the question may be....do they read every essay. I've long doubted that they do. Perhaps they read those for further down-selecting...rather than reading every single one.</p>

<p>Don't think that is true at all. If it were, UCSB would not take the time and resources to run webinars every year on tips for crafting an effective personal statement.</p>

<p>From what I've seen from previous UC admits, their scores/GPA's didn't necessarily perfectly conform as would be expected with admissions... I have to concur with fall2016 parent on this one. </p>

<p>Also, my cousin worked in UCLA admissions (on an ad.com) for a year, and he said essays aren't nearly as important as ECs/GPA/Standardized Testing but they truly do matter. He even told me about some of the best and worst essays he read -- so that goes to say something. I can only speak for UCLA, but I assume the same goes for other UC's. </p>

<p>It seems reasonable that there are exceptions for carefully reading the essay (take an example of someone with stats far far far below the standard which would just be pointless to read the essays of).</p>

<p>thanks for the responses. hope others will chime in. be sure to state sources so we know if your information is personal opinion / "logic" versus actual insider info. :)</p>

<p>bump! 10char</p>

<p>Admissions to the UC's has been litigated over the past two decades. It began in the 80's, when the number of Asians accepted into top UC schools reached about 20- 25%, and remained at the level. Great students - who happened to be Asian-and their parents and counselors began to question why top Asian students were not getting into UCLA and UC Berkeley when their white counterparts were. This was addressed via the courts, and oversight committees were established that would review all admission decisions so as to reduce discrimination against Asians. Subsequently, a state proposition was passed that banned any consideration of race in admissions. However, a small loophole was made, in that disadvantaged students could receive extra points. It is in the essay that disadvantaged students can discuss their particular obstacles and struggles. However, GPA and standardized test scores are the mainstay of admissions. Each essay is read, as is demanded by legally binding admission policies. Again, UC admissions = a heavily regulated and litigious process. There are outside overview committees that can monitor and review admission decisions, in order to ensure that state law and UC policies are being followed.</p>

<p>Regarding sources, anyone can review the dozens of cases against the UC Regents regarding the admissions process- there is a site that has these links ( I can't remember what it is). These legal procedures are in the public domain.</p>

<p>*However, a small loophole was made, in that disadvantaged students could receive extra points. It is in the essay that disadvantaged students can discuss their particular obstacles and struggles. *</p>

<p>Yes, but the system might be set up in a way that URM applications are set aside for their essays to be read so that those with lesser stats can tell their stories regarding obstacles, etc. I'm not saying that it is this way...just wondering.</p>

<p>I think it could be set up like med school delimiters...where perhaps a limitation is set up so that all Asian kids who don't have at least a 3.3 GPA are rejected by UCLA (and their essays are perhaps never read). But a URM with a 3.0 goes forward and all those essays are read. </p>

<p>I'm not sure that every UC applicants' essay is read. There are just too many UC apps and state schools have budget issues. There are some applicants that don't have the req'd minimum GPA (I think it's 3.0) for the initial down-select....so I doubt theirs are all read.. Perhaps the URMs' essays who have sub 3.0 GPAs are read, but I question as to whether all applicants who don't have a 3.0 have their essays read. </p>

<p>Again, I'm not saying that all UC essays aren't read. I'm just saying that maybe it is possible that not every essay is read.</p>

<p>To the Harvard guy....the privates like H are a different story. They often don't get the same number of apps as the UCs (Harvard gets less apps than UCLA does). Privates often have healthier budgets....and they can pick and choose however they wish.</p>

<p>For UC Berkeley, see <a href="http://students.berkeley.edu/admissions/freshmen.asp?id=56&navid=n:%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://students.berkeley.edu/admissions/freshmen.asp?id=56&navid=n:&lt;/a>

[quote]
All applications are read in their entirety by professionally trained readers.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Also see: <a href="http://students.berkeley.edu/admissions/freshmen.asp%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://students.berkeley.edu/admissions/freshmen.asp&lt;/a>

[quote]
But did you know that every freshman application to Berkeley is read individually in our holistic review process?

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Mom- I think you missed the main point here: UC admissions are a heavily regulated process GOVERNED by state law, and with heavy oversight. You may speculate however you wish; your musings and thoughts are irrelevant to the reality of UC admissions. I urge you to review the two dozen or so most important legal cases against the UC Regents, so that you develop better insight into the admissions process. Musings and fanciful ideas are great; however, it does no great service to to potential UC applicants who should- and deserve- to understand the UC admissions process. Heavy oversight, litigated and completely regulated by state law. I have read the proposition carefully- as I was a resident of California and wanted to fully understand it before deciding my vote. Again, I urge you to better educate yourself on the law and the litigation that has shaped UC admissions before you dispense advise.</p>

<p>UC school's do look at essays (they look at your scores 1st then essay's though), CalState school's do not or so I'm told by an admissions counselor from CalState Pomona.</p>

<p>That's not really true. From talking about it with a friend's older sibling who works for the UC system, it's the sort of thing where the combined GPA/SAT score automatically earns you consideration (NOT the same thing as admission), and then once you qualify as a potential applicant, they sort down that pool of applicants by reading through their essays. </p>

<p>In short, your personal statement won't get you in if you absolutely don't qualify, but it WILL separate you, either positively or negatively, from the other kids with similar numbers.</p>

<p>If this was true, then people with high GPA and SAT and decent EC's would not get rejected, but I have seen this happen (though rare) at UCB and UCLA, even for non-impacted majors (and even if the student has no other problems, like disciplinary, etc.).</p>