Please be cautious in drawing conclusions from this information. The figures are only helpful as a general indicator of selectivity and not as a forecaster of your chances of admission to a specific campus.
These figures are preliminary, as of June 2022. After that date, some campuses admitted students, which might have an impact on their statistics. In addition, keep the following in mind:
List of the UC Schools
Here is a complete list of all 10 UC institutions (UC San Francisco is a graduate-only institution, while the others provide both undergraduate and graduate programs).
- UC Berkeley
- UC Davis
- UC Irvine
- UC Riverside
- UC San Diego
- UC San Francisco (graduate only)
- UC Santa Barbara
- UC Santa Cruz
- UC Merced
Why Are the UC Schools Hard to Get Into?
Competition for admission to UC schools is justified. Because of the UCs’ excellent academic standing and popularity among students In the US News for 2020 Moreover, UC Riverside ranked No. Due to the fact that there were more Pell Grant recipients enrolled there than at any other university in the nation, it was ranked No. 1 for social mobility.
Additionally, the UC system provides a variety of majors, extracurriculars, and resources. Without having to leave campus, students have access to museums, art galleries, concert venues, observatories, and even botanical gardens.
It’s no surprise that the UCs draw a large number of applications each year. According to Forbes, more than 181,000 students applied to the UCs in 2018, and the schools only admitted 71,085 freshmen. While the schools have always been competitive, continued space limitations and scarce state funding mean that they now have to turn away around 60% of qualified applicants on an annual basis.
The low acceptance rates at the UCs are made more difficult by the fact that statistics for in-state and out-of-state applicants are very different. California students are particularly drawn to these public institutions because the UCs provide in-state residents with the opportunity to receive an exceptional education without the price tag associated with private schools.
However, the UCs are cognizant of the fact that they can net a lot more money from out-of-state admittees. In fact, UCLA admitted only 12% of its California applicants in 2019 and 16% of its out-of-state applicants. Keep in mind, however, that there were 2-3 times more in-state applicants than out-of-state ones, not including international students. While the out-of-state acceptance rate is higher, those applicants tend to be better-qualified, and are held to a higher academic standard. The middle 50% SAT scores for accepted out-of-state students was 1440-1550, but 1300-1530 for in-state students. The middle 50% ACT scores were 33-35 for out-of-state, and 28-35 for in-state.
Although there is no doubt that the University of California colleges are competitive, the good news is that some UC schools have much higher acceptance rates than others. Discover which schools you have the best and worst chances of getting into in 2020 by reading on.
Hardest UC Schools to Get Into
The truth is that it varies from university to university how difficult it is to enroll in a UC school. Both featuring acceptance rates well under 20%, UC Berkeley and UCLA are the most competitive of the UC institutions These reputable institutions are ranked alongside other highly selective universities like the University of Notre Dame, USC, and Georgetown by admissions experts.
Despite these UC schools’ intimidating acceptance rates, there are still many reasons to apply. The oldest UC, Berkeley is renowned for its political activism and diverse student body. Students are drawn to the institution for its location in addition to its outstanding academics, outstanding faculty, and exciting research opportunities. The 20-minute drive to San Francisco from campus ensures that Berkeley students never get bored.
UCLA has more than 3,800 courses and 109 majors, which makes it a very attractive school for students. This UC is an excellent option for students looking for a big school with lots of activities and extracurriculars, with a total undergraduate enrollment of 31,577. Additionally, students have access to a wide range of internship and employment opportunities thanks to the city of Los Angeles. UCLA is a smart choice for those thinking about careers in film and television, in particular because of its extensive network of alumni in the entertainment industry.
See our post comparing UCLA vs. UC Berkeley has more information on the variations between the institutions.
Easiest UC Schools to Get Into
You might still be able to enroll in a UC even if UCLA and Berkeley seem like stretches for you. The easiest UC schools to get into include UC Santa Cruz, UC Riverside, and UC Merced, all of which have acceptance rates over 50%
Located 40 minutes outside San Jose, UC Santa Cruz earns high marks for its picturesque campus and close beach access. Along with the small class sizes and community feel, students rave about how progressive the school is. In fact, Santa Cruz came in No. 1 on Business Insider‘s list of the Most Liberal Colleges in America.
UC Riverside has a higher acceptance rate than UC Santa Cruz, making it more approachable. It’s also a fantastic option for students looking for a less expensive college education. In actuality, the university admits more Pell Grant recipients than any other top research institution in the U S.
One of the newer UCs, Merced is still finding its identity. As a result, students have a chance to shape the school into the kind of institution they want to attend. Additionally, Merced accepts a large number of community college students. According to the school website, 96% of admitted transfer students come from a California community college.
UC Schools Acceptance Rates
Check out the statistics for incoming freshmen at the nine undergraduate UC institutions below to learn more about what it takes to get into a UC school:
School NameAcceptance RateMiddle 50% SATMiddle 50% ACTUC Berkeley17. 6%1330-153029-35UCLA14. 3%1290-151029-35UC Irvine29. 0%1240-141027-33 UC Santa Barbara36%. 61250-145026-33UC San Diego31. 5%1280-146026-33UC Davis38. 3%1280-146026-33UC Santa Cruz65. 2%1160-135023-30UC Riverside66. 2%1080-128022-29UC Merced84. 8%950-114017-22.
This year’s pandemic and testing accessibility likely contributed to the rise in acceptance rates and decline in average test scores. It’s important to remember that all UC schools will be test-blind starting with the cycle of 2021–2022, so having a high test score won’t help your application. You can use these figures to determine how competitive UC applicants have historically been.
|School Name||Acceptance Rate||Middle 50% SAT||Middle 50% ACT|
|UC Santa Barbara||29.6%||1230-1480||26-32|
|UC San Diego||31.5%||1300-1520||26-33|
|UC Santa Cruz||51.3%||1170-1400||24-31|
Check out CollegeVine’s guide to UC schools if you need more assistance choosing the best one for you.
With college admissions becoming increasingly competitive, applying to schools is a stressful proposition. Fortunately, the CollegeVine chancing engine exists to simplify the process. Simply sign up for your free CollegeVine account and enter your information online. Along with revealing your current odds of getting in at schools across the US, we’ll provide tools to help boost your chance of acceptance. Get started today and take the first step on the road to your dreams.[/vc_column_text]
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MOST/LEAST IMPORTANT FACTORS IN COLLEGE ADMISSIONS – University of California!
What GPA do you need to get into University of California?
The grade point average (GPA) that UC demands for admission is calculated in a specific way. California applicants must earn at least a 3. 0 GPA and nonresidents must earn a minimum 3. For this requirement, you must have a 4 GPA in all A-G or college-preparatory courses.
Is it harder to get into UCLA or Cal?
High GPAs and SAT scores are prerequisites for admission to both universities. UCLA is very selective and only accepts applicants with a GPA of 3. 9 or more. UC Berkeley requires a GPA of 3. 89 from all its students. The recommended range for the average SAT score is between 1405 and 1600.
What college has a 100% acceptance rate?
The college with the highest acceptance rate is Bismarck State College, which is situated in North Dakota’s capital. BSC, the third-largest university in the state’s system of public universities, enrolls about 4,000 students yearly. The school accepts 100% of applicants.