The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is the most applied-to public university in the US according to the US News & World Report. This makes it one of the most challenging universities to get into today, so it’s no surprise that so many students wonder how to get into UCLA.
In this article, we’ll share tips on how to get accepted into UCLA, information about UCLA requirements, and the average UCLA acceptance rate. Read on to learn more and discover how to give yourself the best chance of getting accepted to one of the most prestigious universities in the US.
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All About UCLA Admissions
UCLA receives tens of thousands of applications annually. While the application process is relatively straightforward, your academic achievements and personal essay are critical considerations for the application readers. Anything you can do to make your application stand out in the admission process will help you be a competitive applicant.
UCLA Acceptance Rate
UCLA’s acceptance rate has dropped steadily over the past few decades as the school has become one of the most popular universities in the US. UCLA had an acceptance rate of 11 percent for fall 2021. For that same term, there were 139,490 freshman applications and 28,645 transfer student applications.
One key admission requirement for applicants is a high grade point average (GPA). California residents must earn a minimum 3.0 GPA and out-of-state applicants must have a 3.4 GPA, but because admission is so competitive, accepted students have much higher GPAs than the minimum. You should really have a GPA in the 75th percentile or higher.
UCLA Total Enrollment
UCLA’s total enrollment for the fall 2021 term is 46,116, which includes undergraduate students, graduate students, and students in other programs. 67 percent of current students are California residents, 12 percent are international students, and out-of-state US students and unknown residents account for the remaining 21 percent.
The application requirements for prospective students vary depending on whether you’re a California resident, out-of-state US resident, or international applicant. However, they generally include an excellent academic record and impressive personal qualities. We will cover some of the requirements below.
- An outstanding GPA. All California-resident first-year applicants must have a minimum unweighted GPA of 3.0. For out-of-state students, that minimum rises to 3.4. Most accepted applicants have unweighted GPAs closer to 4.0.
- Complete 15 courses in A-G subjects. All successful applicants must complete 15 year-long high school courses with a C or better letter grade. You must complete at least 11 of them before your last year of high school.
- Standardized Testing (SAT/ACT). While the school will not consider SAT or ACT standardized test scores for admission or scholarship purposes through the 2024 fall term, you may choose to submit them as part of your UC application.
- Transcripts. You don’t have to submit your transcripts when applying to UCLA, but you can refer to them when filling out the application. You’ll be required to submit your official transcripts to the campus admissions office after you are accepted.
- A Social Security Number (optional). If you have a Social Security number, you can submit it as part of the application. The university will use it to match your application to your test score reports, transcripts, and financial aid applications.
Is It Hard to Get Into UCLA?
Yes, it is hard to get into UCLA. The school receives thousands of applications annually. In the past academic year alone, over 139,490 prospective freshmen sent in applications. Because there are so many applicants, UCLA only admits candidates who excel in several areas of achievement.
To get into UCLA you must have an excellent academic record. It’s great to show you are capable of handling college-level content by taking Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate Higher Level classes or even community college courses. You should also show that you are a well-rounded student by participating in activities outside of the school.
Does UCLA Conduct Admission Interviews?
UCLA does not conduct admission interviews for prospective students. The school considers each applicant’s academic records, community involvement, interests, and answers to personal insight questions in the application.
However, some majors in its specialty schools require a supplemental application as part of the admissions process. An additional application may involve auditions, portfolio submissions, and letters of recommendation.
10 Tips for Getting Into UCLA
Getting into a prestigious university like UCLA is easier said than done, but there are some tips you can use to improve your chances. We’ll share our 10 tips for getting into UCLA below.
1. Take and Excel in AP Courses
Take as many Advanced Placement or college-level courses as you can in your last two years of high school. Getting good grades in these courses and exams will help you create an excellent academic transcript. The competition is stiff, and your application is more likely to stand out when you show that you can already handle college coursework.
2. Participate In Academic Enrichment Programs
Take a national or local academic enrichment program. Participating and doing well in one of these programs shows UCLA that you are serious about learning. These programs take place during the school year or over the summer.
3. Involve Yourself in Community Development Programs
Participate in a community-building program in your hometown. Try volunteering for projects that will help you build skills in communication and teamwork. These show valuable interpersonal skills that would make you a strong candidate for admission.
4. Show Leadership Skills Through Extracurricular Activities
Leadership requires communication, collaboration, and teamwork. Show that you can take initiative and lead projects. Join a debate club or environmental group and organize activities or outreach events.
5. Join a Sports Team or Athletic Club
Athletic achievements are great to showcase in your application. You can join a tennis club, basketball team, softball team, or any other team or individual sport. The experience will help you develop a well-rounded personality and playing a sport improves your general well-being.
6. Earn a GPA of 4.0 or higher
A college like UCLA only admits the best and brightest, so your GPA must be outstanding. UCLA calculates your GPA from your final two years of high school, so it’s ok if your earlier years weren’t your best.
7. Ensure That Your Finances Are In Order
UCLA provides scholarships and financial aid to applicants who are US citizens, with an emphasis on residents of California. Unfortunately, UCLA does not offer any financial aid for international students, and if you are an international student you will need to prove that you can cover your tuition and other expenses.
8. Cultivate Interesting Hobbies
Pick up a new hobby or two. Maybe you’ve always liked painting or enjoyed swimming. Actively search for a hobby related to subjects that you’re interested in to learn related skills. Cultivating hobbies shows your passion for learning new things.
9. Take an English Language Proficiency Test
If you are an international student, you’ll need to pass an English language proficiency test such as the IELTS or TOEFL exams. You’ll also need to pass UCLA’s English-as-a-Second-Language Placement Examination after you’re admitted.
10. Work on Your Answers to the Personal Insight Questions
Aside from your academic records and community service accomplishments, the personal insight questions are the most important part of your UCLA application. These questions allow the application readers to see you as a whole person, not just a transcript. Let your experience and personality shine through in your answers.
What Does It Take to Get Into UCLA?
To get into UCLA you’ll need to surpass all the admission requirements with a strong academic performance and a well-rounded resume of activities. The admissions committee will consider your efforts over time to see what only you could bring to campus.
How to Get Into UCLA FAQ
Yes, there are scholarships for accepted students. UCLA offers scholarships and financial aid to US students based on academic merit and financial need. Financial assistance is usually a blend of scholarships and grant money from UCLA and other sources. You can also access low-interest loans and get a work-study job during the academic year.
The deadline for application to UCLA is November 30th. The application period for UCLA runs from August 1st to November 30th. After that, applicants have until March 2nd to file for financial aid options and submit their GPA transcripts.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Franco, Jackie Robinson, and John Williams are some of the many famous alumni of UCLA. The school also counts several Nobel Laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners among its alumni.
No, UCLA does not use the Common App. UCLA uses an online application platform through the University of California system to process all applications.
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