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10 Take-Aways from the 2018 UC Conference

1. Think of the 4 prompts as valuable real estate. Use it wisely! Don’t retell stories unless you’re showcasing a new part of you. It is all about “finishing” the puzzle, getting a full picture and giving UC’s admissions context.

2. Triple check everything. And have 2-3 others look over your app and prompts before submitting. SSN and coursework are often entered wrong.

3. The prompts are not essays. They are answers to questions. Not fluff or exaggeration, just answers. Be true, specific and clear.

4. It isn’t just about grades. It is about taking the most challenging courses available. Each high school and environment are different and are evaluated based on what is offered to students.

5. Not all of the UC’s use the same framework for selection. There is a method, but it’s college specific and can change year-to-year. All of them rely in some way to the 14 factors.

6. Be careful about selecting your major. If you don’t know what you want to do, declare undecided. But don’t declare undecided if you do want a specific major! It’s almost impossible to join an impacted major later.

7. Use the Additional Info. sections for more “context.” Drops in grades, an illness that affected your grades, change in grading system…DON’T put in a 5th prompt answer. And don’t use this section if you don’t have anything out of the ordinary to explain.

8. If you want to go to Merced APPLY. But if it is your safety UC, then save your $75 you will be admitted either way.

9. Print the UC “Congrats” page once you’ve submitted. They have lost apps in previous years. They will honor your app if you have this page.

10. UC apps and yield went WAY up this year. So 2019-20 acceptances will be an even lower number.

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