With a sprawling California campus, top tier academic offerings and Division 1 sports teams, it’s no wonder that UCLA emerges as a top-choice institution for many high school students. Given its popularity, students need to prepare thoroughly in order to emerge as competitive applicants.
In addition to the requisite test scores and grades, prospective UCLA applicants need to convey their passion for the institution and articulate the impact they will have on campus. Keep reading to learn more about UCLA’s acceptance rate and how to stand out when applying to this competitive university.
UCLA is a public research university located in Los Angeles, California. The University opened in 1919, making it the fourth-oldest of the 10 schools within the University of California system. Over 30,000 undergraduates enroll at UCLA and the institution also has many graduate and professional programs, including a medical school, law school, and MBA program. At the undergraduate level, UCLA has a multitude of renowned programs, including the reputable School of Theater, Film, and Television and the Samueli School of Engineering. UCLA athletes compete as the Bruins and have won over 120 national championships, including more than 110 NCAA team championships.
Given UCLA’s top tier academic offerings as well as renowned sports programs, the admissions process is extremely competitive. In fact, the school receives more applications than any other institution in the country. Unlike many other colleges, UCLA does not offer an Early Decision option. Instead, all applicants can apply through the University of California Application for Admission and Scholarships, which can be used to apply to as many as 9 UC campuses. The filing period for undergraduate applications is November 1st-30th, and notification of admissions decisions begins on March 1st. The application includes personal insight questions, designed to encourage students to reflect on learning experiences and future ambitions. UCLA has recently gone test-blind, which means they will not review standardized test scores in their admissions decisions regardless of whether a student wants to submit their SAT/ACT scores or not.
What it Takes to Stand Out
For the 2020-2021 application cycle, UCLA received more than 139,000 applications and admitted approximately 15,000 students, amounting to an acceptance rate of less than 11%. These numbers illustrate just how competitive the UCLA admissions cycle is. In order to stand out for the right reasons, students must carefully follow application guidelines, write compelling personal statements, and have competitive grades. Nearly 92% of all admitted applicants for UCLA’s class of 2025 had an unweighted GPA of 3.75 or above. The average GPA for this class was 3.92.
Getting Off the Waitlist
As a highly desirable institution, waitlist outcomes are far from uncommon at UCLA. In order to make the most of the situation, applicants should keep in mind that moving off the waitlist comes down to a variety of factors, including enrollment figures and departmental goals. Applicants should avoid overloading the admissions office with extra materials, as the University’s website clearly states that additional information that was not requested by the campus will not be considered. Instead, students should focus on compiling the best application possible and trust that they will receive admissions to one or more of the best-fit schools on their balanced lists.
UCLA is a renowned university that emerges as a top choice for many applicants. If you are working on a UCLA application and need additional guidance, our team of college admissions experts are here to help!