The University of California (UC) application portal has been open for 2022-2023 admissions since August 1. As Insight Counselor Jenny guided our seniors step-by-step through filling out their UC apps, she discovered some important updates to the UC applications that you wouldn’t want to miss!
Key Insight #1: UC Berkeley Major Choices Update
In the past, UC Berkeley only allows applicants to select one major. In the 2022-2023 admissions season, you can indicate your alternate major choices on all UC campuses. This is in an effort to standardize the University of California system’s application process.
However, UCB will only review your alternate major as space permits. What does that mean? It means your second major choice for UC Berkeley may not be reviewed. In short, nothing has changed in the review process. If you want to study Computer Science (CS) and not Electrical Engineering/Computer Science (EECS), then you should be honest in that preference in your application. Keep in mind that CS at UCB is a pre-major, and if accepted, you will enroll in the College of Letters and Science (L&S) as undeclared. On the other hand, those admitted to EECS will spend their 4 years in the engineering program.
Not sure what you should do to maximize your chances? Interested in other competitive majors? Let our College Admissions expert do a 360-review of your profile and help you plan the path to your dream school!
Key Insight #2: UC Approved Courses in You Academic Section
This is a massive improvement! In the past, UC applicants had to visit the UC A-G Course website and check how the UC admissions office categorizes their high school classes. Now, once you enter your high school in the UC application, you should be able to find the classes offered in your high school in the academic section.
While this is true for many high schools across the United States, there are of course exceptions. If you cannot find your school or coursework on the UC A-G Course website, then follow your transcripts as closely as you can. Avoid any unclear abbreviations. Most importantly, make sure you satisfy the UC subject requirement.
Did you know? At Insight, each college application is thoroughly reviewed by multiple counselors. We don’t just check your academic records, activities, and essays. Our team carefully examines your personal information and your major choices to make sure your application is complete!
Key Insight #3: UCSD’s New Eighth College
For those who are applying to UCSD, you should know to rank the colleges you want to be at. These are usually not related to your major (though it can be), but the community you want to be a part of. At Insight, our counselors guide their seniors to carefully rank these colleges to maximize the overlapping of required coursework and personal interests. This year, San Diego has a new college – the Eighth College.
The Eighth College’s theme is “engagement and community.” The Eighth students will be taking more writing-intensive courses which focus on community, critical engagement, and structural racism.
This begs the question: will you be more likely to get accepted into UCSD this year if you rank the Eighth College as number one? Sadly, no. You will only be placed in one of the UCSD colleges AFTER you are accepted. We know we say this a lot at Insight; it is important to be true to yourself and be authentic on your application. Rank the colleges where you can see yourself thriving in the next four years!
The UC made many changes in the past couple of years, and the historically low acceptance rates of some UC campuses may be daunting. If you are a high school senior right now, take a deep breath and understand this: while you cannot change your past, you have the power to do your best in the present. Focus on what is important right now. Fill out the UC application carefully and accurately. Continue to do your best in your classes. Brainstorm and revise those Personal Insight Questions and personal statements. And should you need any guidance on major choices, college essays, or comprehensive application review, all of us at Team Insight are happy to help you!