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What should I do to increase my chances into a UC(University of California)?


My intended major is Computer Science/Engineering. I know the UCs are selective and I am fine with a mid-tier/low tier UC.

I actually live in California so I am in-state.

I am a rising senior and only have four months before I have to submit UC applications.

My Gpa is 3.75 and I am taking the SAT but I been consistently scoring in the 1350-1400 range.

I don't have much STEM extracurriculars at school except for Environmental Club.

I am editor for a literary magazine.

I volunteered for 300 hours for tutoring, children summer camps, and a museum( I got an interview).

I play the violin and I am starting a program to help teach people how to play.

I am currently working on free online courses to become proficient in programming.

Should I consider applying to be apart of an organization like a general leadership role?

I am currently debating whether I should go to a robotics program for a year to show the UCs my proficiency.

Please leave any suggestions to help me at this point because there is limited time to help increase my standards. I really don't enjoy school spirit in my school especially so I didn't join many clubs at school.


2 answers

answered on[edited]
Accepted answer

Your SAT and GPA are fine... you should use the chancing calculator to get accurate chances.

In terms of improving your chances, I would suggest working on your Personal Insight Questions. They are linked here, and it would be apt to try and get at least 2 done over the summer so you won't stress out during the school year:

EDIT: I'd suggest touching on your extracurriculars and what they mean to you as well. The extracurricular would be good for Questions 1,7, and 8.

University of California uses the following factors for admission:

You should also calculate your UC GPA here (they cap honors credits and have some caveats on what courses to include):

UC Berkeley and UCLA have GPAs in the 4.1-4.4 range

UCSD, UCSB, UC Davis, and UC Irvine have GPAs in the 3.9-4.1 range.

UC Merced, UC Riverside, and UC Santa Cruz have GPAs in the 3.5-3.89 range.

In terms of average SAT:

UC Berkeley and UCLA, you should aim for a 1450+.

UCSD, UCSB, UC Davis and UCI you should aim for a 1350+

Other UCs you should aim for at least 1200.

If you need any more help feel free to comment!

Hope this helps ;).

answered on

So the least selvtive UC is UC merced and the average GPa is around 3.75 and your SAT is above the mid 50% so you are apprx in 50th percentile and are top 25% in SAT. With the academics you are doing well don’t know rigor but if good you have great/phenomenal academics.

For what I believe is the middle UC (UC Santa Cruz) is I believe the median in terms of admit rate and academics for gpa you are in the lower mid 50% and your SAT is in the middle.

Now your ECs in my opinion need some work. Even if you join robotics (you should) the lack of leadership is not great but coupled with semi-“wandering” volunteering. 300 hours is great but unless I know of what you did I can’t say how well that is. I can intern at a Fortune 500 but if I just make copies that’s not as impressive as being a shift manager at a fast food place. And if your Volunteering had some accomplishments but weren’t phenomenal I’d say the mid tier UCs are targets/hard target and low tier UCs are safeties bordering on targets (70ish% chance)

Hope this helps and comment if you need clarification.