Freshman requirements

  • Subject requirement (A-G)
  • GPA requirement
  • Admission by exception
  • English language proficiency
  • UC graduation requirements

Additional information for

  • California residents
  • Out-of-state students
  • Home-schooled students

Transfer requirements

  • Understanding UC transfer
  • Preparing to transfer
  • UC transfer programs
  • Transfer planning tools

International applicants

  • Applying for admission
  • English language proficiency (TOEFL/IELTS)
  • Passports & visas
  • Living accommodations
  • Health care & insurance

AP & Exam credits

Applying as a freshman

  • Filling out the application
  • Dates & deadlines

Personal insight questions

  • How applications are reviewed
  • After you apply

Applying as a transfer

Types of aid

  • Grants & scholarships
  • Jobs & work-study
  • California DREAM Loan Program
  • Middle Class Scholarship Program
  • Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan
  • Native American Opportunity Plan  
  • Who can get financial aid
  • How aid works
  • Estimate your aid

Apply for financial aid

  • Cal Dream Act application tips
  • Tuition & cost of attendance
  • Glossary & resources
  • Santa Barbara
  • Campus program & support services
  • Check majors
  • Freshman admit data
  • Transfer admit data
  • Native American Opportunity Plan
  • You will have 8 questions to choose from. You must respond to only 4 of the 8 questions.
  • Each response is limited to a maximum of 350 words.
  • Which questions you choose to answer is entirely up to you. However, you should select questions that are most relevant to your experience and that best reflect your individual circumstances.

Keep in mind

  • All questions are equal. All are given equal consideration in the application review process, which means there is no advantage or disadvantage to choosing certain questions over others.
  • There is no right or wrong way to answer these questions. It’s about getting to know your personality, background, interests and achievements in your own unique voice.  
  • Use the additional comments field if there are issues you'd like to address that you didn't have the opportunity to discuss elsewhere on the application. This shouldn't be an essay, but rather a place to note unusual circumstances or anything that might be unclear in other parts of the application. You may use the additional comments field to note extraordinary circumstances related to COVID-19, if necessary. 

Questions & guidance

Remember, the personal insight questions are just that—personal. Which means you should use our guidance for each question just as a suggestion in case you need help. The important thing is expressing who you are, what matters to you and what you want to share with UC. 

1. Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time. Things to consider: A leadership role can mean more than just a title. It can mean being a mentor to others, acting as the person in charge of a specific task, or taking the lead role in organizing an event or project. Think about what you accomplished and what you learned from the experience. What were your responsibilities?

Did you lead a team? How did your experience change your perspective on leading others? Did you help to resolve an important dispute at your school, church, in your community or an organization? And your leadership role doesn't necessarily have to be limited to school activities. For example, do you help out or take care of your family? 2. Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side. Things to consider: What does creativity mean to you? Do you have a creative skill that is important to you? What have you been able to do with that skill? If you used creativity to solve a problem, what was your solution? What are the steps you took to solve the problem?

How does your creativity influence your decisions inside or outside the classroom? Does your creativity relate to your major or a future career? 3. What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time? Things to consider: If there is a talent or skill that you're proud of, this is the time to share it.You don't necessarily have to be recognized or have received awards for your talent (although if you did and you want to talk about it, feel free to do so). Why is this talent or skill meaningful to you?

Does the talent come naturally or have you worked hard to develop this skill or talent? Does your talent or skill allow you opportunities in or outside the classroom? If so, what are they and how do they fit into your schedule? 4. Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced. Things to consider: An educational opportunity can be anything that has added value to your educational experience and better prepared you for college. For example, participation in an honors or academic enrichment program, or enrollment in an academy that's geared toward an occupation or a major, or taking advanced courses that interest you; just to name a few.

If you choose to write about educational barriers you've faced, how did you overcome or strive to overcome them? What personal characteristics or skills did you call on to overcome this challenge? How did overcoming this barrier help shape who you are today? 5. Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement? Things to consider: A challenge could be personal, or something you have faced in your community or school. Why was the challenge significant to you? This is a good opportunity to talk about any obstacles you've faced and what you've learned from the experience. Did you have support from someone else or did you handle it alone?

If you're currently working your way through a challenge, what are you doing now, and does that affect different aspects of your life? For example, ask yourself, How has my life changed at home, at my school, with my friends or with my family? 6. Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Describe how you have furthered this interest inside and/or outside of the classroom. Things to consider:  Many students have a passion for one specific academic subject area, something that they just can't get enough of. If that applies to you, what have you done to further that interest? Discuss how your interest in the subject developed and describe any experience you have had inside and outside the classroom such as volunteer work, internships, employment, summer programs, participation in student organizations and/or clubs and what you have gained from your involvement.

Has your interest in the subject influenced you in choosing a major and/or future career? Have you been able to pursue coursework at a higher level in this subject (honors, AP, IB, college or university work)? Are you inspired to pursue this subject further at UC, and how might you do that?

7. What have you done to make your school or your community a better place? Things to consider: Think of community as a term that can encompass a group, team or a place like your high school, hometown or home. You can define community as you see fit, just make sure you talk about your role in that community. Was there a problem that you wanted to fix in your community?

Why were you inspired to act? What did you learn from your effort? How did your actions benefit others, the wider community or both? Did you work alone or with others to initiate change in your community? 8. Beyond what has already been shared in your application, what do you believe makes you a strong candidate for admissions to the University of California? Things to consider:  If there's anything you want us to know about you but didn't find a question or place in the application to tell us, now's your chance. What have you not shared with us that will highlight a skill, talent, challenge or opportunity that you think will help us know you better?

From your point of view, what do you feel makes you an excellent choice for UC? Don't be afraid to brag a little.

Writing tips

Start early..

Give yourself plenty of time for preparation, careful composition and revisions.

Write persuasively.

Making a list of accomplishments, activities, awards or work will lessen the impact of your words. Expand on a topic by using specific, concrete examples to support the points you want to make.

Use “I” statements.

Talk about yourself so that we can get to know your personality, talents, accomplishments and potential for success on a UC campus. Use “I” and “my” statements in your responses.

Proofread and edit.

Although you will not be evaluated on grammar, spelling or sentence structure, you should proofread your work and make sure your writing is clear. Grammatical and spelling errors can be distracting to the reader and get in the way of what you’re trying to communicate.

Solicit feedback.

Your answers should reflect your own ideas and be written by you alone, but others — family, teachers and friends can offer valuable suggestions. Ask advice of whomever you like, but do not plagiarize from sources in print or online and do not use anyone's words, published or unpublished, but your own.

Copy and paste.

Once you are satisfied with your answers, save them in plain text (ASCII) and paste them into the space provided in the application. Proofread once more to make sure no odd characters or line breaks have appeared.

This is one of many pieces of information we consider in reviewing your application. Your responses can only add value to the application. An admission decision will not be based on this section alone.

Need more help?

Download our worksheets:

  • English [PDF]
  • Spanish [PDF]

18 UCLA Essays That Worked (and Why) for 2023

UCLA Essay Examples

Do you want to write strong essays that'll help get you into UCLA?

In this article, you'll read and learn from 18 essays written by students who got recently accepted into UCLA and see how they did it.

If you're trying to get into the University of California, Los Angeles, these essays are a valuable resource and give you a peek into UCLA admissions.

Whether you're a student or parent of an applicant, you'll see what to do—and what not to do—when writing your UC essays.

How important are the UCLA essays?

And as of 2022, the UC system no longer uses your SAT and ACT scores to decide whether or not to admit students.

With no more test scores, that means your UC essays are even more important for your application. Besides your grades (GPA) and coursework, your essays are the most influential factor for your UC admissions.

Plus, UCLA is the most applied to school in the world, with well over 100,000 applicants each year. The University of California-Los Angeles acceptance rate is lower each year, which makes your essays even more important.

Since your UC essays matter so much, it's important to get them right.

What are the UC Personal Insight Question Prompts for 2022-23?

It's a mistake to think of the UC Personal Insight Questions (PIQs) as typical essays you'd write for a class.

Rather, the PIQs are a set of eight open-ended questions asked by the UC app. You must choose exactly four questions to respond to, and each response should be no more than 350 words.

Let's go over the UC Personal Insight Question prompts:

  • Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time.
  • Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side.
  • What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?
  • Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.
  • Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement?
  • Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Describe how you have furthered this interest inside and/or outside of the classroom.
  • What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?
  • Beyond what has already been shared in your application, what do you believe makes you stand out as a strong candidate for admissions to the University of California?

It can be helpful to see how other students responded to the UC Personal Insight Questions.

And since UCLA is one of the hardest UC's to get into, along with UC Berkeley , students that get accepted tend to write outstanding essay responses to the PIQs.

18 UCLA Personal Insight Question Examples

Here are the 18 best UCLA accepted essays that worked written by accepted students for each Personal Insight Question prompt #1-8.

  • UCLA Example Essay #1
  • UCLA Example Essay #2
  • UCLA Example Essay #3: Violin
  • UCLA Example Essay #4

UCLA Example Essay #5: Team Player

  • UCLA Example Essay #6: Flute
  • UCLA Example Essay #7: Optimism
  • UCLA Example Essay #8
  • UCLA Example Essay #9
  • UCLA Example Essay #10
  • UCLA Example Essay #11
  • UCLA Example Essay #12

UCLA Example Essay #13: Computer Science

Ucla example essay #14: korean big toes.

  • UCLA Example Essay #15

UCLA Example Essay #16: LGBT

  • UCLA Example Essay #17

UCLA Example Essay #18: Being Short

Ucla example essay #1: orchestra leadership.

UC PIQ #1: Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time. (350 words max)

In my freshman year of high school, I had enrolled in the String Orchestra Advanced Class which was mixed in with the Beginning class. I was the only person with experience, seven years in the Violin at the time, while most of the students in the class were beginners. I got class elected, then re-elected as President my Freshman and Sophomore years, and was First Violin, then First Viola Chair.

My first year consisted of myself and the instructor teaching the basics of each instrument. Learning a new instrument is frustrating, and there were times where older students in the class would get frustrated and unhappy that a Freshman knew more than they did.

As a leader I had to make sure I did not keep a separation between myself and my classmates. Therefore, my Sophomore year, I changed my instrument to the Viola.

By showing my classmates that I too was a beginner, and that I too had to learn because I had a new instrument -inspired the class to learn as well. My classmates no longer saw me as someone who told people to practice and not give up, yet did not have to practice or struggle themselves, but instead, as someone who was there practicing, and struggling along with them.

The Orchestra program at my school started my Freshman year as an experimental class, but the school ended the class after my Sophomore year. Though unfortunate, in the two years of its existence, my classmates went from being novices, to performers, where in the last year of the program, we performed many times for school events and finally in an orchestra conference in my Sophomore year, where judges praised our Orchestra's technique and cohesiveness.

After the class got cut, many of my classmates continued to pursue music independently, or in the District Orchestra. It is a wonderful feeling for me to see my former classmates -to this day- performing, and even teaching others, knowing that I was there when their journeys in music first began, and I look forward to seeing their musical pursuits in the future.

Why This Essay Works:

  • Tells a Story: Gives context and explains how you got this leadership position. By explaining a backstory, it reveals your motivations and what drives you.
  • Shows Takeaways and Lessons Learned: It's not enough to just talk about your achievements. Admissions officers are more interested in why they matter to you, and how you had an impact on others.

What They Might Improve:

  • Fix Capitalization: It's not necessary to capitalize improper nouns like "violin", "viola", and "orchestra".
  • Sentence Flow: Make sure your sentences aren't too long and don't have unnecessary breaks, which can interrupt the flow.

UCLA Example Essay #2: Volunteer Leadership

My group and I spent a total of seven hours preparing five hundred bagged lunches for the extensive homeless community at Oakland. Out of all the obstacles that could have halted our progress, rain was the last thing on our minds. We were lucky enough to distribute three hundred lunches before the rain began to relentlessly pour down on us. There were a few hours left of daylight before we would be able to eat Iftar for Ramadan, so, an overwhelming majority of our group wanted to call it a day. However, there was still a large number of unsheltered and hungry homeless people throughout the city, and I could not bear to let all that food go to waste. So, I raced to one of our nearest vans, grabbed a bullhorn, and yelled to gather the attention of as many people as possible. I instructed them to form lines in front of our eleven vans in order to take everybody to the nearest homeless shelters with the promise of food and entertainment. We went to six other heavily concentrated areas to do the same thing, and within just five hours, nearly five hundred homeless individuals were transported.

This event is one of the dozens of community service projects I’ve performed in my role as vice-president of the youth faction of the Sudanese Association of Northern California (SANC). This Oakland food drive has left me with a sense of clarity of what it takes to get a project, event, or any other endeavor accomplished. The food drive was obviously a success, but what made this particularly memorable is the email the president of SANC sent me the following day: “You have a keen ability to synthesize and communicate anything quickly and effectively.” I realized the explicit connection between my forensics (speech and debate) career and my community service: the power that I carry in my voice can motivate others to do good. I have tried to apply this insight into each new endeavor since.

  • Specific with Numbers: Use exact numbers whenever you can to create authenticity and make it realistic. In this essay, saying "three hundred" lunches makes things concrete.
  • Connects to Academic Interests: Show how your past leadership achievements relate to what you want to do in college.
  • Stronger Conclusion: Make sure your conclusion isn't vague and has a concrete takeaway. Don't just use words like "this insight". Rather, rephrase that insight or draw a new idea from it.
  • Sentence Structure: Having too long of sentences is a common mistake students make. Instead, splitting up complex sentences can make it easier to read.

Learn the secrets of successful top-20 college essays

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UCLA Example Essay #3: Violin Creative Side

UC PIQ #2: Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side. (350 words max)

I express my creative side by playing the violin and other musical instruments. Ever since I was a younger child, music had always been a part of my life. The first instrument I remember playing is the piano when I was four years old. My school had a music program, so I went and learned how to read music and play the Recorder. Though it was a simple instrument, it was to prepare us students for the more complex instruments that we could choose to play after completing the Recorder lessons.

I took this class all of first grade, and in second grade I was ready to choose the instrument I wanted to specialize in. I chose the Violin, and now -ten years later- I am still playing it. Throughout the years I have learned to play other instruments as well, such as the Piano, Trumpet, Viola, and more. During that time I have also been able to play those instruments in different styles of music.

From second to seventh grade, I played the Violin and sung in my elementary school district's Mariachi and my middle school's Mariachi even when I did not know how to speak Spanish. I have been playing the Violin at my church's choir almost every Sunday since Seventh grade. I played the Violin and Viola in my high school's Orchestra class in Freshman and Sophomore year, and since my Junior year I have played the trumpet in my school's Jazz Band and Trumpet Choir.

My siblings have also been inspired to be creative musically, and together we perform at our church and other places, and music has become an important part in their lives as well.

Throughout my life I have been able to express my love for music in many different ways. Whether through playing with a group, doing a solo in front of an audience, composing my own music, or teaching my younger siblings how to read and play music the way I was taught many years ago, music has always been a large way that I could express my creative side.

  • Clearly Answers Prompt: For UC essays, being straightforward is not a bad thing. This essay starts off by clearly answering the prompt, before elaborating further.
  • Fix Capitalization: It's not necessary to capitalize improper nouns like "freshman" and "sophomore". An easy fix is to only capitalize proper nouns, like names of people and places.
  • Explain What's Meaningful: Admissions officers want to know more than just "what you did," but also why it was meaningful to you. Try to focus on the impact of your achievements more than just what you did.

UCLA Example Essay #4: Improvised Comedy Creative Side

I was brought into this world with an overactive imagination and an absence of siblings. My abundance of boredom and lack of playmates was solved by creating multiple characters, drawing them, and pretending to be them. When I joined theater my freshman year, I quickly fell in love because it brought me back to that childhood innocence of carelessly being someone else It was an opportunity to evaluate how I could incorporate my personality, experiences, and charisma into a character and to turn my visual concepts into a reality through doing makeup.

I was also introduced to improvised comedy. where I presented my witty and quirky side. On the other hand, working with a cast and crew was something I was unaccustomed to. but I soon saw myself becoming inspired by the surrounding creativity of others. Whether we were doing a dramatic or comedic play, we worked together to evoke an emotional response from the audience. It’s an honor to see people laugh and cry during our performances because I've connected with hundreds of people by putting my heart on a stage. In contrast, painting has been a private indulgence. Every feeling and thought trapped inside becomes free on that canvas into a beautiful visual creation. Like my mood, my paintings aren't uniform and consistent; they range from iridescent beaches to scattered splotches, yet every stroke, color. and mistake had a reason.

As my only patron, my mom couldn't always afford painting supplies, so occasionally I had to improvise with tools like spoons, paper towels, and erasers. Regardless of the tools I was using, my paintings were reflection of myself. The progression of my work is an exhibit of my struggles, success, and how I became who I am today. Painting is not about the finished product; it's about the journey and the lessons I've learned to get there. My creativity is not limited to the arts, but is embedded my appearance, mindset, and career path in solving mental health issues. Creativity, to me, is putting bits and pieces of myself into doing what I love.

  • Strong First Sentence: Starting off with interesting ideas is the best way to get the reader hooked. It doesn't need to be complicated, but find your most interesting idea and start there.
  • Connects Multiple Extracurriculars: Finding multiple examples in your life to explain your answer can make your essay stronger. Rather than focusing on just one activity, how do your activites relate with a common theme?
  • Great Conclusion: A strong conclusion is often one that expands on your ideas or connects to something more universal. Try restating your main idea and add a twist or expand on it.
  • Make Each Paragraph Distinct: Each paragraph should have one central idea or topic. It's better to split up your essay into many paragraphs because it makes it easier for the reader and better organized.

UC PIQ #3: What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time? (350 words max)

My greatest talent would be relating to and inspiring others. Throughout my time in school I have demonstrated that talent by becoming a leader where I was trusted by my teachers and peers. It began in 5th grade when I was voted to become Student Council for my class, where my peers knew that I related well with them and that I would do my best to use my position to fix their issues.

In middle school, I became the Knowledge Bowl team Captain. There was a new coach, so the program was small, about five students. There were many students who wanted to join the team but felt that they were not "smart enough" to join. I recognized this and encouraged those students to join and they succeeded. By the end of the year, our team was 3rd in the district overall statistically standing, our highest ranking in a while.

In high school I joined JROTC as a Freshman, and I became a Platoon Sergeant my Junior year. My job for the semester was to teach and motivate cadets in the program. Some cadets did not do well with authority, and felt attacked when other class leaders would be assertive. As a leader I took a different approach, and related to my cadets. My platoon was constantly noted as being a well-rounded platoon by our instructors, and I received the Non-Commisioned Officer Leadership Award.

In Academic League, motivation was key to our team's success. Sometimes personal problems would affect a member of the team, so I showed them I could relate to their struggles and still believe in their ability to help the team. In times when we would be losing in a match, I would inspire the team to keep pushing on, and to remain positive. That year our team placed 5th in the district -again a highest ranking in a while- and I was voted as "Most Inspirational" by the team.

Throughout the years, relating to and inspiring others has been a skill that has allowed me to make great connections with so many people.

  • Uses Multiple Examples: Backing up your answer with various examples from your life makes your case stronger.
  • Unique Take: Rather than thinking of a skill in the literal sense, this author uses a more abstract skill. Sharing your unique perspective is key to having interesting ideas.
  • Show Why It Matters: In addition to explaining your greatest skill or talent, you should tell why it is meaningful. What are the takeaways and how will you use this skill going forward in college?

UCLA Example Essay #6: Flute Greatest Talent

Just when we think we figured things out, the universe throws us a curveball. So, we have to improvise. The universe is funny like that. Sometimes it just has a way of making sure we wind up exactly where we belong.

When I first started playing flute, I probably looked like a pufferfish choking on a clump of wasabi, but that didn't matter. Blasting deep breaths into my flute, I blew voraciously as I tried to produce a B-flat; but all I could muster was a raspy whistle.

6 years later, I was filled with pride knowing that I had worked hard enough to be selected as the concert soloist for the Youth Orchestra of Bucks County. My moment had arrived; I stand center-stage and begin Chaminade's Concertino Op. 107. Recognizing the minor scales and arpeggios, my fingers glide through the measures with absolute certainty; and with each successive measure, my breathing, tone, and articulation seemed to increasingly synchronize. Before long, the piece came to an end. Holding the D-natural farmada as long I could, I let the note fade into submission and lowered my flute. Taking a bow, I reveled in the magnitude of my hard work.

As I grew older, it became evident that I would need orthodontics and jaw reduction surgeries. With my face full of rubber and metal, I couldn't form a tight enough valve to sustain notes. I was officially back to square one. The following months were brutal, I had to put away Tchaikovsky and go back to the basics; but my effort was genuine and I gradually regained my ability to play.

Today, I consider playing flute my greatest skill. Not because I can play complex scales or win competitions, but, instead, because through the horrors of braces, learning how to double-tongue, and impossibly fast measures, I never gave up. Playing flute had crafted in me the relentless determination which I've exhibited over the past 8 years. I may not know what curveballs life will pitch to me next, but I have confidence knowing I will persevere regardless of the circumstances.

  • Strong Hook: Use your best idea at the start to immediately make the reader interested. First impressions matter, and by having a compelling first paragraph, the tone of your essay is immediately better.
  • Specific in Naming Things: Say the names of groups, places, and other things whenever you can. Being specific whenever possible makes you seem more relatable and makes your essay more interesting.

UCLA Example Essay #7: Optimism Greatest Skill

Life can be an overwhelming obstacle course, but my ability to get over any bump with a smile on my face has been my greatest strength. Maintaining an optimistic outlook has introduced me to new opportunities, made me a better leader, and helped me get through everyday life. Although my determination to get back up was built by a couple scrapes and falls. I learned about the impact of a positive attitude on others through my experience on the tennis team.

The motivation and bond my team had because of the encouragement and support from our captains has influenced my approach to interacting with others. For instance, while working with my peers, I always praise them for the effort that they put in and patiently help them. When applying this to class projects and theater productions, I saw an improvement on our performance and our accomplishments felt more satisfying and meaningful. My positive attitude is also influential during my job at a convalescent home. As an activities assistant, my objective is to get residents to participate in activities and to make them fun.

At times, it’s difficult to convince residents that a macaroni necklace is worth getting out of bed for, but I am always that friendly face that cheers them on and picks them up. Knowing that my happiness is brightening someone else's day is extremely valuable and is the fuel to my enthusiasm.

Preserving my optimism is not always easy; however, my excitement for the future retains my drive to overcome any challenge. Every opportunity given to me is taken advantage of, and if something doesn't go as planned. I am confident another door will open. Even though I enjoy focusing on the bright side of life, I'm aware that some people feel like they cant overcome their challenges alone. I recognized that I can be a hand to help people up, someone to believe in them, and a friend to conquer obstacles with. Using this positive influence is the very reason why I am looking forward to a career in psychology.

  • Shows Impact of Your Skill: Whenever possible, try to show how your skill/talent has impacted others. Why is your skill important? And how will you use it going forward in life?
  • Uses Humor: Having small moments of natural humor, when appropriate, makes for a more enjoyable essay. Even a small remark like "it’s difficult to convince residents that a macaroni necklace is worth getting out of bed for" is powerful.
  • Recognizes Challenges: Nobody is perfect, and even with your greatest skill or talent there are likely still shortcomings. Recognizing your challenges is important to humanize yourself and shows self-awareness.

UCLA Example Essay #8: Significant Educational Opportunity

UC PIQ #4: Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced. (350 words max)

I was going to University of Southern California for three weeks, and that was all I could think about as the school year came to a close. After finding out that I had been accepted into the Bovard Scholars program, along with one of my best friends, I could not wait for the upcoming summer. As July 16th neared, I became more and more anxious,as I did not know what to expect, but I was looking forward to this new opportunity.

The program had just been launched this year and 49 of around 500 applicants were accepted. Over the course of three weeks, the 48 other people from all over the country would be my new friends. During my time there, I would be assigned a coach who would help with the college process, whether it be working on the college application as a group or having one-on-one sessions to work on personal statements. Outside of working on college applications and essays, we had guest speakers from admissions offices, student panels where we could ask questions, career panels, and workplace visits. We also had many presentations on financial aid, fields of major, jobs, and interviews which, most of it, I did not know beforehand.

Along with all this help, we also dormed at one of the residence halls, which allowed us to experience what college life might be like. I was amazed by the diversity of people that were attending the program, and I was shocked to find out that my roommate from New York was Egyptian. We even had Resident Assistants who planned evening activities for us to further stimulate college life. However, they were not just our Resident Assistants; as we grew closer we were able to gather information from them about college.

As the program came to its end, I did not want it to stop. I had such an incredible experience and learned so much about college. I knew that the program will never truly end, though, as our coaches will continue to work with us until Spring when we are accepted into colleges.

  • Specific in Achievements: Being specific and saying "49 of around 500 applicants were accepted" creates credibility. It also helps admissions officers have context about your achievements and be able to infer how significant they really were.
  • Stronger First Sentence: Try starting your essay with ideas, rather than retelling events. Starting off with interesting ideas helps hook your reader, and you can later support those ideas with your experiences and achievements.
  • Focus on Meaning: Emphasize what your takeaways were from this educational opportunity or barrier. Admissions officers are looking for what you learned, how it affected others, and how you'll use those lessons moving forward.

UCLA Example Essay #9: Working at Health Clinic

I worked in a health clinic in the impoverished village of Amara in Sudan this summer, expecting to be assigned general administrative duties during my internship. However, those expectations were tossed out the window within the first week. I consider myself a pretty squeamish person, so the thought of blood oozing from any injury disgusts me in ways that I cannot describe in words. So naturally, I was shocked when I didn’t flinch or faint as I held the retractors of a ravaged knee during surgery. I can’t say that I confronted the daunting tasks I was given with complete confidence, but I learned from the experiences nonetheless. At times, I would question the challenging orders given to me by the faculty, but I later realized that it was due to the lack of qualified doctors and nurses at the village.

I observed eleven surgeries, ranging from liver disease to a gruesome foot infection. The clinic worked under severe pressure, as basic resources and equipment were scarce, which ended badly for some patients. There was one particular patient who did not survive a disastrous bus crash due to the unavailability of ambulances. He was laying on the floor in agonizing pain for a lingering six hours. As the viscous blood stained the white cloth that covered him when he was brought to the clinic, I felt a surge of sorrow, anger, and helplessness. It was difficult for me to come to grips with the reality that some things cannot be undone. The emotions I felt that day slowly faded, but never completely receded. I left this internship satisfied with the invaluable knowledge I obtained, but I still feel like I needed to do more. I live a relatively privileged life, and don’t have to spend each day worrying about a measly injury that could end my life. At the time, even though I thought I was worked too hard for a high school student, I now know I didn't do enough. I’m eager to return to the clinic soon, and have hopes of gaining more experience and knowledge.

  • Emphasizes the Impact: After talking about what opportunity you had or what barrier you overcame, focusing on the impact of that experience is what matters. Describing your emotions and lessons learned makes the significance of those events more clear.
  • Strong Hook: Focus on finding your best idea and using that as your first sentence. Often, starting off with a story or retelling what you did can come later and isn't as important.

UCLA Example Essay #10: Most Significant Challenge

UC PIQ #5: Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement? (350 words max)

Education has always been important in my household, but never paramount. We were always taught to put familial needs first—even before our own. My parents always emphasized the lesson that selfishness leads to bitterness and loneliness. That value is why six new members were added to my family when my father’s brother died two years ago. I did what was expected and shifted my focus from school to helping my kin.

I remember feeling a mosaic of emotions—apprehension, prudence, and displacement—as I greeted them at the airport. The five-hour-long ride back home was awkward and somber, and the complete silence said so much more than words could. We were all just afraid of what the future had in store for us. My step aunt, my two older cousins and the three younger ones were all compassionate, loving people. Yet, I couldn't seem to shed this foreboding feeling the first time we all entered our house. Every passing week made our financial situation more tenuous. So, my brother and I volunteered to help our dad at his small pharmaceutical wholesale business after he laid off two employees. We worked after school three days a week and would return home around 8:30.

That year of juggling school with my new obligations at home and my father’s business was emotionally and physically wrenching. However, I don't pity myself and I wouldn't go back to change anything because I learned so much about my character in that year. I realized that my parent’s belief in selflessness had shaped me into a more capable person because I was able to sacrifice time from socializing and classes to contribute, in some way, to my family. And even though I was concerned that I would hurt my academic performance, I stuck to my promises. That inexplicable sense of uneasiness I felt at the airport was caused by anxiety in anticipating the new demands that could potentially exhaust me. Thankfully, the challenges prepared me for the academic rigor for my junior year, my senior year, and hopefully, for university.

  • Vulnerable and Authentic: Talking about personal stories can be difficult, but often your vulnerable experiences have a lot of meaning. Being vulnerable also makes you more personable and relatable.
  • Explains Realizations: Rather than focusing on what happened, focus on the impact of it and why it's meaningful. How will these past experiences and academic challenges affect you going forward?
  • Stronger Conclusion: Try to connect your ending back to the beginning while expanding on it or connecting it to a universal idea. Alternatively, leave your conclusion more open ended.

UCLA Example Essay #11: Educational Challenge

Growing up, I tackled the challenge of school without much guidance from anyone other than my older sister, who is one grade higher. When I was at the young age of just five, my parents divorced and my sister and I were left with our dad, who we did not see often. Because our time with him was limited to driving us to school and home and dinner, we could not ask him for much help with homework or projects. Most of the time, we did the work ourselves or asked our uncle and aunt for help when they came on Saturdays. By the time we reached middle school, I was in more advanced classes, and although my dad had received an Associate’s Degree, he did not take advanced classes like I did, so he was unable to provide much help. My dad only took math up to geometry, and his English was not as fluent as mine, preventing him from providing much help.

Once I enrolled in high school, I was able to get help from teachers, programs, and even my sister. With this newfound help, I overcame the struggle of not knowing what to do in school and life, and I learned that help is always there, but I just needed to ask. Throughout my time in high school, I became more motivated than I was before to do the best I can and overcome anything that comes my way. I was able to do this with help from others, and I will continue to strive for greatness, overcoming any obstacles. Without the help of others, I would not have had the success that I have had in school. My good grades are a testament to the help that I have received in order for me to be where I am now. Although I can say that I have overcome this challenge, there is still one last hurdle, which is to graduate from high school, attend college, and apply everything I have learned to the real world.

  • Honesty: Authenticity is most important for your essays. By revealing personal details such as your family life and struggles, you can bring admissions officers into your world.
  • Sense of Gratitude: Showing a sense of appreciation and self-awareness makes you immediately more likeable. Nobody succeeds alone, so how did others in your life help you overcome difficulties?
  • Provide Clarification: Some parts could be given more context, such as "why is your dad not as fluent in English?". You could use this as an opportunity to talk about your cultural background and create a more clear picture of yourself for the reader.

UCLA Example Essay #12: Self-Improvement Challenge

The saying "you can be your own worst enemy" was the embodiment of the time I hit lowest point. Finishing my 22-hour days, I expected to lay down in bed close my eyes, and smile: thinking about all my accomplishments. Instead, I was sleep deprived, rapidly losing and gaining weight, and unhappy.

As a result, I stopped being able to focus and my grades began to fall. I lost motivation and the only reason I did anything was because of my obsession with completion. In this vulnerable state, I would tell myself I was useless and shy away from taking opportunities. I started to question if could get out of the hole I dug. Ironically, I have always been an optimist. I thought about the many things I wanted to do and I wouldn't be able to do any of them from a hospital bed.

Seeing the bright light ahead of me, I moved forward to a journey of self-improvement. First, I isolated myself from things that were affecting my happiness through finding a place where I could peacefully think about why I was enduring so much pain, regularly eat, and get some sleep. When I came back from my retreat, I continued my routine which improved my health and performance in school. The greatest outcome was my realization that I was compensating for my lack of self-esteem, I've been trying to get validation from my parents and peers by trying to be perfect, but when my friends left me and my parents didn't notice my efforts I overworked myself.

It was hard to stop searching for approval, yet the support of close friends and acknowledging that I'm doing everything I'm capable of, revealed to me what its like to love yourself. From then on, I determined my self worth, no one else. Now that I found my own drive and am confident, I don't have to beg for friends. struggle to maintain grades, skip meals, or lose sleep. Presently, I can say I am no longer my worst enemy: we're like friends that get closer every day.

  • Vulnerability: Showing your shortcomings and difficulties is important to reveal how you've grown and changed. Revealing your perspective and emotions also shows that you have self-awareness.
  • Provide More Explanation: Don't assume that the reader will remember everything about you. For essays like this, give more context. Answer questions that will come up in the reader's mind, like "Why did you have 22-hour days?".

UC PIQ #6: Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Describe how you have furthered this interest inside and/or outside of the classroom. (350 words max)

An academic subject that inspires me is Computer Science. Computers have fascinated me ever since a young age. I used my first computer when I was 4 years old- the Apple Macintosh Performa. I began learning about how computers worked in first grade, where I had my own Windows XP computer. I did not know what I was doing when I clicked through the thousands of files that made the computer run, but it was fascinating, and almost seemed like magic. I knew that a career with computers had to be in my future.

My fascination with computers took a new meaning in freshman year, when I decided to learn how to program. I did not know where to start, so I just typed in the search browser, "how to start programming". That day, I started with the Processing Language. It was a simple language to learn, but it built the foundation for my furthered interest in the computer programming aspect of Computer Science. After a couple months of using Processing, I learned HTML/CSS and JavaScript. These languages would allow me to program a wider range of applications. Soon enough, I became bilingual in the languages of computers. As time went on throughout my freshman and sophomore years I exposed myself to more languages like SQL, Batch Scripting, and in junior year, Java.

In my junior year I took AP Computer Science A, and finally after all the years of loving computers, I was able to take Computer Science as a class where I learned the Java language. I also furthered my interest in Computer Science by integrating it with the Engineering club on campus, using the Arduino and Raspberry Pi.

This year I am in Computer Integrated Manufacturing, where I can implement my knowledge of Computer Programming into Engineering, through the use of Corel Draw with the Laser Cutter Printer and AutoDesk Inventor and OpenGL C++ Code with the CAD 3-D Printing machine.

Computer Science has always been a part of my life inside and outside of the classroom, and I seek to continue pursuing it as my major.

  • Connects Interests to Extracurriculars: Showing how your activities relate to your passions reveals your motivations and what drives you. By connecting to extracurriculars, it also creates a more complete picture of your application.
  • Specific In Naming Things: Whenever you are able to, being specific is better than being vague. By naming programming languages and classes, the story becomes more compelling.
  • Explain Why These Things Interest You: What is the root aspect of your interests that intrigue you? Try explaining how you feel when doing these activities and what motivates you. Admissions officers want to know how these interests developed, and more importantly, why they developed.

UC PIQ #7: What have you done to make your school or your community a better place? (350 words max)

I am "Korean big toes", "a water panda in disguise", and "Mr. Sweatface" - these are the nicknames I happily accepted over the years. My life was a buoyant bubble, full of gratification, funny nicknames, and simple pleasures; but that changed when I was confronted with the inhumane conditions of the LGBT centers around my town.

Stepping into the stone-house building, a few things immediately caught my attention. The rooms were small, full of broken furniture, smelled of mold, and had poor lighting; moreover, there was no privacy and extremely limited resources. It was obvious that the facility didn't have the funds to sustain itself, let alone help anyone trying to assimilate back into society. My heart ached as I realized the advantages I had been taking for granted; the idealistic mirage of reality I previously held, was now replaced by an overwhelming truth: Life isn't fair. Everyone in that facility had been criminalized for their sexuality, and I was going to do something about it!

Over the next few weeks, I brainstormed ideas and eventually decided on creating a blog where I would share the stories of anyone who was willing to speak up for change. The clickety-clack of my keyboard filled the common rooms of LGBT centers around my city. I slowly-but-surely interviewed the residents of these homes, recording stories of inequality and discrimination. As I uploaded each story to my blog, I felt a sense of accomplishment knowing that I was breaking down barriers and fulfilling my passions. Furthermore, reading the comments flooding my inbox, I realized that although the LGBT centers in my area still remain underfunded, I had made an impact on individuals through my blog and did something for a community I genuinely cared about. It was more than I could have ever hoped for.

In my quest to create change, I forged a new nickname for myself -- "advocate"; except, unlike the titles I was bestowed as a kid, this nickname represented my creativity, ingenuity, and passion, and for those reasons, it is more precious than anyone will ever know.

  • Vivid Descriptions: Painting a picture can make your stories immediately more interesting. By using descriptive language and word choice, your stories have more life to them.
  • Conclusion That Connects to Beginning: Try connecting your ending back to the beginning, but with a new perspective or take. By bringing your essay full circle, it creates a sense of cohesiveness.
  • Name Things Specifically: Rather than being general and saying "LGBT centers", the author could name one specifically. Since not everyone may be faimilar with the concept of "LGBT centers", it helps make your essay more concrete and easier to interpret.

UCLA Example Essay #15: Empowering Others Through Peer Tutoring

I never thought that I would tutor other people after school, but that was what I did my junior year and now in my senior year. During my freshman and sophomore years, I was the one being tutored by upperclassmen who had taken my classes before. Receiving help from others inspired me to become a tutor my junior year so I could give back and share the opportunity that I had. At first, I was not sure if I would be up to the task, as I did not feel confident in my teaching abilities in various subjects. As time went on, however, I became at ease and comfortable tutoring anyone the more I tutored along with my peers.

Every day from Monday through Thursday, I went to library as much as I could to help tutor with others from 3 to 4 o’clock, and it slowly became a part of my daily schedule. To begin with, I was not the greatest teacher, but as I helped more and more, I gradually became better at it due to teaching the same concepts repeatedly. Not only was I helping the person I was tutoring understand the subject, but I also was becoming better at the subject by teaching it. Teaching a subject allowed me to relearn concepts and ideas that I had forgotten, as well as studying for a subject if I was tutoring a classmate.

Motivated by wanting to help other students, I was able to be at tutoring most days, and this led to me receiving a tutoring award at my school’s California Scholarship Federation banquet at the end of the year. It was a surprise to me as I was not expecting to be honored. To me, the best award was the satisfaction of helping others understand how to do homework questions and them being grateful for the help. Although this year tutoring is not being held in the library yet, I joined another club that tutors after school for the time being so I can continue helping others and spread my knowledge.

  • Shows Their Realizations: Realizations and new understanding are how people change. That's why its important to look for what lessons you learned, and what you took away from your activities.
  • Explain Why: Try to predict what questions will arise in the reader's mind, and answer those questions. For this essay, one question that is unanswered is "Why did you never think you would tutor other people?".

UC PIQ #8: Beyond what has already been shared in your application, what do you believe makes you stand out as a strong candidate for admissions to the University of California? (350 words max)

This was the night. Clenching my fists, I called my dad over. Maybe it was the adrenaline coursing through my veins or maybe just suspense, but time seemed to freeze as anxiety washed over my consciousness. A million doubts flooded my mind as I dreaded what would come next. The pitter-patter of his feet hitting the tile floor brought me back to reality. My dad had always loved and supported me, I just had to trust that things would be alright.

In a quivering voice, my hands shaking, I explained to my dad that I was gay. After a brief moment of silence, my dad said ten words that completely changed my life: "I raised you completely wrong, get out of my house". I was devastated, but I wasn't surprised. This was the same person physically forced pork down my throat when I told him I wanted to become a vegetarian; who would hit me and my mom if either of us voiced dissenting opinions; and the same person who would come home drunk and threaten to kill us. With tears running down my cheeks, I packed my belongings and drove my 98' Nissan Pathfinder away from my home. From that night on I learned to be brave, to follow my dreams, and to fight for what I believe in.

The next few years were tough. In my community, being gay was unacceptable and embracing my identity meant enduring the consequences. I will never forget being dragged into a storage room and choked or hiding the bruises I got from being pelted by textbooks. But looking back, I realize that the lessons I learned drove me towards success. They inspired me to be relentless and graduate early, to surpass expectations by doing college-credit classes, and remain strong in the face of oppression and adversity. Moving forward, as I look to broaden my education horizons, I know that I have the emotional vitality to success wherever I go. So I want to dedicate this essay to my dad and to everyone who made me strong, thank you.

  • Honest and Vulnerable: Talking about personal stories can be impactful. Often the most difficult stories are the ones that need to be shared.
  • Explains Your Perspective and Emotions: Sharing how you felt in a certain moment can allow the reader to "be in your shoes." By telling your perspective, you allow admissions officers to better understand your experience.
  • Focus On Takeaways: Although stories are important, what matters more is the lessons and takeaways from those stories. The majority of your essay should be focused on those ideas, with a smaller portion where you talk about what actually happened.

UCLA Example Essay #17: Fostering Inclusive Leadership

All around us, the world is dominated by big voices, people who can present themselves positively and effectively elaborate on their opinions. Many of our most successful politicians carve their paths to the top through their charisma and articulate language. Unfortunately, while many of them possess a strong voice, many of them don’t possess that same strength in listening. While their job is to represent the people, there is a large disconnect between their perspective and the perspectives of their citizens. Even in Congress, civilized debate has transformed into a shouting battle, where both parties attempt to push their ideas, but neither side is willing to listen.

In contrast, a leader with an open ear, an open mind, and an open heart is exactly what I bring to the table. I believe that everyone has a unique story to share. From the most flamboyant billionaires to the people living on the streets, every single person possesses their own unique set of skills, perspective, and knowledge that can be useful to learn from. Because of this, I make it my priority to listen to and understand the human behind each team member I work with. In recognizing each person’s strengths and weaknesses, I’m able to build a positive environment in which every person is able to reach their maximum potential.

For example, when it comes to group projects, I always make sure to know the personalities of those I’m working with and create a transparent and inclusive environment that is conducive to productivity. Rather than dishing out assignments and deadlines, I make sure everyone is able to contribute in a way that matches their strengths and skills. Furthermore, by creating such a transparent atmosphere, group members are able to understand each other’s situations and help each other out like an actual team, allowing everyone to be both productive and pleased.

With all the divisiveness that is taking place in the country today, it is more necessary than ever to have open-minded leaders such as myself to help bring this campus and this nation together.

  • Strong Hook Sentence: Using a thought-provoking idea to start your sentence immediately draws the reader in. By having a unique take on the world, people want to read more and are interested by your thoughts.
  • Using Examples to Explain: For abstract ideas and concepts, try using a real life example to make things more clear. Capture the essence of your ideas and find what is at the core of them.

Stepping foot in public has been like opening a floodgate to questions and comments about the one thing that I've been looked down upon my entire life for - my height. Standing out because I was 4'9" wasn't something I was proud of; I was picked last for sports, not taken seriously, and often used as a human arm rest. My mom warned me life was going to be hard if I didn't drink my milk. However, people aren't aware that my appearance is a deception and what makes me extraordinary is that I've outgrown myself. People should be asking me how a person so "big" can fit into a girl so tiny. I have a huge personality, dreams, goals, and a plethora of talent. My achievements earned me such a high standing that I do know what the weather is like up there, yet, my head is never in the clouds because my distance from the ground makes me down to earth.

My only oddity is that my anatomy has grown out of proportion. It's hard to believe that with such short arms, I can extend them long enough to touch hearts with my art and performances. I have been devoted to helping people and educating myself ever since I was young, but who knew that my brain and heart would become so gigantic? Despite my how big my brain is, I keep my head as small as my body because I value letting others know that I'll never overlook them.

Although I haven't hit as many significant growth spurts as the average person. I grow with ambition every day, considering every moment a step closer to success. Being able to pursue my passions at a university will allow me to continue maturing into a person who will one day be looked up to by many. The reader of my response cannot see the facade that has been the subject of many peoples first impressions of me. instead, they will observe that even though I can't reach the top shelf, I can still reach my goals in life.

  • Using Metaphors: Explaining something ordinary (like being short) in an unusual or not-so-common way can show your unique take on it. By using metaphors, you can connect seemingly unrelated ideas together.

What can you learn from these UCLA essays?

These UC essays are not perfect—nor should they be—but each has interesting ideas and a unique perspective.

Compared to some private university essays , UC essays are relatively straightforward.

So focus on making each UC essay express one interesting idea as your answer.

Here's my top 4 lessons for UCLA essays:

  • Avoid too much storytelling and descriptions. You only have 350 words, so focus on ideas.
  • Answer every part of the prompt, clearly. Avoid implying your answer. Make sure your idea is crystal clear and relevant.
  • Showcase a different aspect of yourself with each essay. Avoid re-using topics, unless you're taking a very different angle.
  • Show your thinking. As with all successful essays, your thinking is most important.

Also applying to UC Berkeley?

I've collected additional essays from admitted Cal students that are completely unique from these UCLA essays.

If you're interested, check out these our essays that worked for UC Berkeley .

Which UCLA essay that worked was your favorite? Let me know!

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Princeton Admitted Essay

People love to ask why. Why do you wear a turban? Why do you have long hair? Why are you playing a guitar with only 3 strings and watching TV at 3 A.M.—where did you get that cat? Why won’t you go back to your country, you terrorist? My answer is... uncomfortable. Many truths of the world are uncomfortable...

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MIT Admitted Essay

Her baking is not confined to an amalgamation of sugar, butter, and flour. It's an outstretched hand, an open invitation, a makeshift bridge thrown across the divides of age and culture. Thanks to Buni, the reason I bake has evolved. What started as stress relief is now a lifeline to my heritage, a language that allows me to communicate with my family in ways my tongue cannot. By rolling dough for saratele and crushing walnuts for cornulete, my baking speaks more fluently to my Romanian heritage than my broken Romanian ever could....

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UPenn Admitted Essay

A cow gave birth and I watched. Staring from the window of our stopped car, I experienced two beginnings that day: the small bovine life and my future. Both emerged when I was only 10 years old and cruising along the twisting roads of rural Maryland...

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college application essay ucla

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UCLA Successful Essay Examples

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UCLA is one of the most popular universities in California. In recent years, it has received a record number of applications. If the West Coast  calls to you and you like the idea of finding your niche in a large top tier university, UCLA may be the school for you. If you’re still working on your responses to the UC essay prompts, these examples may help. 

college application essay ucla

One of the most sought-after UC schools, UCLA is a dream school for many Californians. More than 100,000 students applied to UCLA last fall, and the numbers are expected to remain the same for this upcoming application season. For those of you applying this Fall, the regular application filing period is November 1-30. If you’re still working on your UC essays, here are 5 successful examples that might inspire you to write yours: 

UC Los Angeles ‘20

college application essay ucla

Prompt: Describe the world you come from - for example, your family, community, or school - and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

It was my fault. I had chosen this topic for my math exploration, armed with only the feeblest grasp of actual concept. Music, math, and the harmonic series…I sighed. In the time-honored tradition of all students, I had turned to Google for succor. The words on the screen blurred together hazily. “Pythagoras discovered that a string exactly 1/nth its length produces a frequency n times the original frequency…” It just didn’t make sense: what did a bunch of numbers have to do with musical consonance? Read her full UCLA application essay.

college application essay ucla

A bright orange glow reflecting on the water, I love watching the sunrise at the beach. I grew up less than ten minutes away from the Atlantic and my early childhood memories include frequent trips to the beach. Although the beach is a stunning sight, the beach is not always pristine. My family and I regularly remove trash from the beach, including commercial fishing and industrial debris, particularly after storms, sometimes in quantities almost too heavy to carry. Unlock his full UCLA profile read his application!

college application essay ucla

Prompt: Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?

Starting in 6th grade, I spent every summer at Jon Lee’s East Beach volleyball camp. Most kids came and went on a weekly basis, but I just stayed. There was nowhere else I would rather have been, than at East Beach playing volleyball with my friends. I loved it so much that I sought out faster improvement, committing to more formal training with an AVP professional player. View his full successful UCLA profile.

college application essay ucla

T-shirt. I had never heard of DECA before. Curious, I asked him more about it, and learned that it was “a club for, like marketing and business”, as he called it. Her persuaded me to join and we planned to compete together in the Sports and Entertainment Marketing Team even. Unlock his full UCLA profile read his application!

college application essay ucla

Prompt: What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?  

I can read koalas with turtles and I can eat ice cream with friends in North Korea. This is all possible due to the power of Photoshop. Photoshop is like a straw that allows people’s eyes to drink from my imagination. I can make anything and put it anywhere; from sea monsters in the ocean to winged toasters at my birth. For nearly four years, I have used Photoshop to express myself in an adventurous way, one that offers me wider avenues than music or writing do. I am constantly improving my photoshopping abilities and therefore expanding the limits of my expression. Unlock his full UCLA profile read his application!

college application essay ucla

Are you looking to apply to UC Schools? or just starting to build out  your college list ? Make sure to search through profiles of students accepted to see essays, stats, and advice. See how they got in, and how you can too!

About The Author

Frances Wong

Frances was born in Hong Kong and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. She loves super sad drama television, cooking, and reading. Her favorite person on Earth isn’t actually a member of the AdmitSee team - it’s her dog Cooper.

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college application essay ucla

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  • 2. College Application Lessons from 2020-2021: Strategizing through Covid Changes (Part 2)
  • 3. College Admissions Lessons from 2020-2021: Strategizing through Covid Changes (Part 1)

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  • 2. How to Write College Essays to Boost your Chances Part 1: Biggest Essay Mistakes
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college application essay ucla

Transfer Applicants

Welcome! We’re excited that you’re interested in becoming a Bruin. This page will take you through the basics and lead you to the detailed information you need.

Beginning Your Application

You may apply for admission as a transfer if you meet the following criteria:   

  • You graduated from high school and completed college-level coursework in a regular session at any college or university since your graduation.

Note: You cannot disregard your college record and apply as a freshman. We do not accept applications from students seeking second baccalaureate degrees.

To begin the application process, use the University of California's online application (UC Application).

Admission Considerations and Requirements

When it comes to reviewing transfer applicants, we carefully balance consideration of the full range of faculty-approved criteria to gain a complete sense of each student’s achievements. Some factors are more easily quantifiable than others.

Good preparation and a strong academic performance make you a more competitive candidate during the admission review process. The average GPA of admitted transfer students is above 3.5 and admitted students have completed most or all major prep courses. We give highest priority to applicants from California community colleges. We admit students for fall quarter only.

We consider the following criteria:

Academic Requirements

  • Junior-level standing (60 semester or 90 quarter transferable units completed) by the end of the spring term before you transfer
  • UC transferable GPA of 3.2 or higher
  • Completion of major preparation requirements by end of spring prior to transfer
  • Two transferable courses in: English composition, critical thinking and writing
  • One transferable math course with a prerequisite of intermediate algebra or higher
  • Four transferable college courses in at least two of the following subject areas: arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences, physical and biological sciences

Personal Factors

Examples include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Employment while attending school
  • Involvement in campus organizations and community service
  • Family responsibilities
  • Significant improvement in academic performance over time
  • Military service
  • Other opportunities or challenges that may have shaped your educational experience

Transfer Student Profile

Are you curious about admit rates from past years? Find out how many transfer students apply, are admitted, how many enroll and in which majors, amongst other stats. 

Dates and Deadlines

You can start working on your application when it becomes available on August 1 and submit it October 1–November 30.

Application opens

Application filing period

Filing period opens for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and Dream Act Application for all applicants; filing period opens for GPA Verification Form (required for California residents only for Cal Grant consideration)

Application update period opens for transfer applicants to report final fall grades and in-progress or planned coursework (priority deadline is January 31)

Deadline for applicants to submit their financial aid application (FAFSA), Dream Act, and Cal Grant GPA verification forms

Transfer admission decisions released

Deadline for admitted transfer students to submit Statement of Intent to Register (SIR)

Deadline for final official transcripts to be submitted to the admission office; must be postmarked or electronically submitted on or before this date

Deadline for official AP/IB examination results to be submitted to the admission office; must be postmarked or electronically submitted on or before this date

Applying to a Major

When you apply to UCLA as a transfer student, you must apply to a specific major. Every major has preparatory requirements for transfer students. Transfer admission is dependent on the successful completion of this coursework along with a competitive GPA. Transfer students must complete their major preparation requirements by the end of spring prior to transfer.

Supplemental Applications

If you are applying to a major within any of the following professional schools, you must submit the UC application by November 30 th and the supplemental application by the stated deadline.

  • School of the Arts and Architecture
  • Herb Alpert School of Music
  • School of Nursing
  • School of Theater, Film and Television

Applicants who select programs in these schools as their alternate major will be reviewed for their primary major only.

Intercampus Transfers

If you’re interested in transferring to UCLA from another UC campus, you must apply for admission to UCLA and go through the same process as any other transfer applicant.

To be considered for admission to UCLA, you must leave or have left your previous UC campus in good academic standing. We also encourage you to complete the General Education (GE) requirement of the UC campus you currently attend before you transfer. If you do this, you’ll be exempt from UCLA's GE requirement.

Resources for Transfer Students

  • California’s statewide transfer information site, ASSIST provides UC Transfer Course Agreements, selected Major Preparation Articulation Agreements for all California community colleges and Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) course lists.

Center for Community College Partnerships (CCCP)

  • Through a multi-faceted approach with efforts at the student, faculty and administrative levels, CCCP works to increase the academic preparation and competitiveness for community college transfer students, particularly those who are first generation, low-income or historically underrepresented. 

Community College Transfer Recruitment (CCTR)

  • We send admission representatives to all California community colleges during the academic year through our Community College Transfer Recruitment (CCTR) program. Visit your college's Transfer Center to schedule an appointment.

Student Transfer Outreach Mentorship Program (STOMP)

  • STOMP is a volunteer student organization. Its goal is to provide outreach services that motivate and inspire students who are enrolled at California community colleges to consider the University of California as a practical option for transfer. 

Transferology

  • View how your coursework is articulated from your school to UCLA. Click on the link that says Search for a Replacement Course to find equivalents to UCLA courses.
  • Please note: Transferology is an advisory tool only, and doesn’t guarantee transferability. Actual course transferability is subject to change without notice, at the discretion of the UCLA Registrar’s Office and Undergraduate Admission.

UCLA Transfer Resource Guide (PDF)

UCLA Transfer Resource Guide - Spanish (PDF)

UCLA Transfer Admission Guide (PDF)  

UCLA Transferability Guide for Four-Year and Out-of-State College Coursework (PDF)  

UC Transfer Admission Planner (TAP)

UC Information on Transferring

UC Transfer Pathways

  • If you already have a major in mind, learn about a single set of courses you can take to prepare for your major. Transfer Pathways provides you with a clear roadmap to prepare for your major and be well positioned to graduate on time.

UCLA Transfer Alliance Program

  • Students who participate in this program are certified after completing the honors or scholars program at their community college, which helps enhance their ability to transfer to UCLA.

Frequently Asked Questions

No. Transfers are notified of admission in late April.

No. Transfer students must apply to a specific major. UCLA policy requires all transfer students declare their major by the time they reach junior standing. Transfer applicants are also expected to complete lower-division preparation coursework for their intended majors before transferring.

Transfer students must be at junior-level standing (60-86 semester units or 90-129 quarter units) by the end of the spring term prior to the fall that they are applying for. Keep in mind that the units used to determine junior-level standing have to be transferable.

Please note: UCLA will only allow up to 70 semester or 105 quarter units from transferable lower-division coursework to be applied toward your degree once you’re admitted. Therefore, transfers with more than the 86 semester or 129 quarter maximum number of units from two-year colleges will still be considered as junior-level. UC courses and upper-division courses from four-year institutions will not be capped (at 70 semester or 105 quarter units). Those units can put you at risk of exceeding the maximum for transfer eligibility and becoming senior-level.

Due to the high volume of prospective applicants, we’re unable to meet individually with students upon request in order to evaluate previous coursework or help plan future courses.

Transfer students must declare a major and are considered for admission based on the major-specific preparation courses completed. The UCLA Transfer Admission Guide outlines the major prerequisites we expect to be finished no later than the spring term prior to transfer.

If you’re currently attending a California Community College, you can contact the transfer center there or the UCLA Undergraduate Admission counselor assigned to your school. We also encourage you to visit ASSIST to see which courses are transferable between your community college and UCLA.

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Essay Scoop: How to Answer UCLA Essays

Gelyna Price

Gelyna Price

Head of programs and lead admissions expert, table of contents.

Stay up-to-date on the latest research and college admissions trends with our blog team.

Essay Scoop: How to Answer UCLA Essays

The University of California Los Angeles is a competitive school, and for good reason. Still, the admissions office looks for more than just straight-A students. Rather, UCLA wants college students with rich experiences and diverse perspectives to compose the incoming classes. Below is some helpful advice on responding to the UCLA essays!

UCLA is the second oldest University of California campus. This renowned university offers 337 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines, of which 125 are undergraduates.

Since UCLA is incorporated into the broader UC system, we’ll review just 2 prompts here today. For further reading, this write-up for UC Berkeley provides helpful content and further reading on how to approach these essays with a strategy in mind. You can find more insight into the UC system in this exclusive admissions officer interview, too. If you still have specific questions about your essay drafts, reach out! Empowerly would love to meet you.

UCLA Essays

Describe the world you come from —” for example, your family, community or school —” and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations..

Every applicant has lived through unique experiences in their life and sometimes these moments leave a lasting imprint. Focus on a moment or two or a trend between experiences that have contributed to your goals for the future. Keep in mind that the message can complement the next prompt by explaining the motivations behind your passions. This question requires reflection on the past that serves as the rationale for your aspirations.

Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud, and how does it relate to the person you are?

This is a great place to connect your goals for the future to a specific moment or an approach you have. Either way, the reader will need to see an explanation that connects your career/life goals to your observations. What moments directly contributed to your vision and what problems do you hope to address?   

There you have it. Now that you have an introduction to the UC school essays and where to find more information, you’re on a strong start. Don’t lose that momentum!

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May 2, 2024

How to Get Into UCLA

UCLA’s Royce Hall is featured under a blue sky.

The University of California, Los Angeles combines the beachy SoCal lifestyle with the amenities of a world-class research university. Tied for 15th place in the  2024 US News & World Report  annual college ranking, UCLA is widely considered one of the most prestigious public universities in the nation. With a $6.2 billion dollar endowment, nationally ranked undergraduate and graduate programs, and a campus famed for its beauty, it is no wonder that UCLA has accumulated the  largest application pools ever recorded  in recent years among four-year universities in the United States. 

What Is UCLA?

UCLA is located in the gorgeous Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.  The 2022-23 UCLA Common Data  set indicates that 12,392 men, 19,072 women, and 299 nonbinary students are enrolled as full-time undergraduates on campus, for a total of 31,763 full-time undergraduates in the student body. 50 nations are represented in the 2023 first-year cohort, while 27% of domestic first-years are first-generation college students.  

How to Get Into the University of California, Los Angeles

Ucla admissions requirements.

Competitive UCLA applicants meet minimum academic and testing requirements, but simply meeting these criteria is not enough to be granted admission. Still, it is helpful for prospective applicants to understand the university’s admissions philosophy and the academic profile of the average admitted student.

UCLA GPA Requirements

UCLA’s admissions office maintain a minimum GPA requirement for in-state (California) applicants set at 3.0, and at 3.4 for out-of-state applicants. However, The Common Data Set reveals a slightly different story. 59.1% of undergraduates admitted in 2023 had a 4.0, 34% had a GPA between 3.75 and 3.99, and 4.9% had a GPA between 3.5 and 3.74. The average high school GPA was 3.93. 

This suggests that the average UCLA enrollee was at the top of their high school graduating class, and that the  de facto  GPA admissions cut-off is much higher than the official cut-off.

According to UCLA, admissions officers use a  “holistic” process  that “specifically considers academic grade point average; the quality, quantity, and level of coursework taken; sustained participation in activities that develop academic and intellectual abilities; leadership and initiative; employment and personal responsibilities; and overcoming life challenges related to personal or family situations.” This admissions philosophy evaluates each applicant in the context of their high school situation.

UCLA SAT/ACT Score Requirements

UCLA  does not  accept or consider SAT or ACT scores for admission.

What High School Courses Does UCLA Require?

UCLA’s admissions office recommends the following  high school curriculum :

Applicants “must complete 15 A-G courses with at least 11 courses finished prior to the beginning of your last year of high school. To be competitive in the UCLA admission process, applicants should present an academic profile much stronger than any minimum UC admission requirements. See below for a listing of the A-G requirements:

  • 2 years history/social science
  • 4 years of college-preparatory English
  • 3 years of mathematics (4 years recommended)
  • 2 years of laboratory science (3 years recommended)
  • 2 years of language other than English (3 years recommended)
  • 1 year of visual and performing arts (if available)
  • 1 year of college-preparatory elective”

Despite these recommendations, it is not advisable to take fewer than four years of a core subject class (math, science, history, English, and foreign language classes).  All  highly selective colleges prize students who excel in their core subjects for four years, and in the case of foreign language study, five years. UCLA is no exception .

What Extracurriculars Does UCLA Look For in Applicants?

The competitive UCLA applicant has not necessarily participated in a  specific  activity to boost their chances, but they have certainly pursued their chosen activities to the fullest extent possible. As  UCLA’s admissions office  puts it: “get more involved in extracurriculars that build on your passions, interests and skills. Whether you’re into bass guitar, baseball or baking, colleges will be impressed by your desire to become an  expert  in the areas that interest you.”

Admissions counselors at any elite institution seek to build classes that are diverse and dynamic. Homogeneity of any sort is not a priority. That is why at Ivy Coach , we have long asserted that the  “well-rounded student”  myth is just that — a myth. UCLA seeks “experts,” whether you’re a world-class skier, a calculus wiz, or a musical virtuoso. The applicant with the best chance of admission has ensured that the depth of their passion is reflected on their application, and that they haven’t watered down their resume with a bunch of half-hearted fluff.

UCLA Application Requirements

UCLA applicants must complete the  UC Application , which is the standard application used for all UC schools, as well as a series of “personal insight questions.” They do not accept recommendations or conduct interviews as part of the process.

What are UCLA’s Supplemental Essay Topics?

Supplemental essay responses are one of the most important components of a college application. UCLA’s  personal insight questions  are essentially a combined version of the supplemental and personal essays found in the Common Application. The personal insight questions , as well as some helpful advice given by UCLA to accompany these questions, read as follows:

“1. Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time.

Things to consider: A leadership role can mean more than just a title. It can mean being a mentor to others, acting as the person in charge of a specific task, or taking the lead role in organizing an event or project. Think about what you accomplished and what you learned from the experience. What were your responsibilities?

Did you lead a team? How did your experience change your perspective on leading others? Did you help to resolve an important dispute at your school, church, in your community or an organization? And your leadership role doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to school activities. For example, do you help out or take care of your family?

2. Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side.

Things to consider: What does creativity mean to you? Do you have a creative skill that is important to you? What have you been able to do with that skill? If you used creativity to solve a problem, what was your solution? What are the steps you took to solve the problem?

How does your creativity influence your decisions inside or outside the classroom? Does your creativity relate to your major or a future career?

3. What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?

Things to consider: If there is a talent or skill that you’re proud of, this is the time to share it.You don’t necessarily have to be recognized or have received awards for your talent (although if you did and you want to talk about it, feel free to do so). Why is this talent or skill meaningful to you?

Does the talent come naturally or have you worked hard to develop this skill or talent? Does your talent or skill allow you opportunities in or outside the classroom? If so, what are they and how do they fit into your schedule?

4. Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.

Things to consider: An educational opportunity can be anything that has added value to your educational experience and better prepared you for college. For example, participation in an honors or academic enrichment program, or enrollment in an academy that’s geared toward an occupation or a major, or taking advanced courses that interest you; just to name a few.

If you choose to write about educational barriers you’ve faced, how did you overcome or strive to overcome them? What personal characteristics or skills did you call on to overcome this challenge? How did overcoming this barrier help shape who you are today?

5. Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement?

Things to consider: A challenge could be personal, or something you have faced in your community or school. Why was the challenge significant to you? This is a good opportunity to talk about any obstacles you’ve faced and what you’ve learned from the experience. Did you have support from someone else or did you handle it alone?

If you’re currently working your way through a challenge, what are you doing now, and does that affect different aspects of your life? For example, ask yourself, How has my life changed at home, at my school, with my friends or with my family?

6. Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Describe how you have furthered this interest inside and/or outside of the classroom.

Things to consider: Many students have a passion for one specific academic subject area, something that they just can’t get enough of. If that applies to you, what have you done to further that interest? Discuss how your interest in the subject developed and describe any experience you have had inside and outside the classroom such as volunteer work, internships, employment, summer programs, participation in student organizations and/or clubs and what you have gained from your involvement.

Has your interest in the subject influenced you in choosing a major and/or future career? Have you been able to pursue coursework at a higher level in this subject (honors, AP, IB, college or university work)? Are you inspired to pursue this subject further at UC, and how might you do that?

7. What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?

Things to consider: Think of community as a term that can encompass a group, team or a place like your high school, hometown or home. You can define community as you see fit, just make sure you talk about your role in that community. Was there a problem that you wanted to fix in your community?

Why were you inspired to act? What did you learn from your effort? How did your actions benefit others, the wider community or both? Did you work alone or with others to initiate change in your community?

8. Beyond what has already been shared in your application, what do you believe makes you a strong candidate for admissions to the University of California?

Things to consider: If there’s anything you want us to know about you but didn’t find a question or place in the application to tell us, now’s your chance. What have you not shared with us that will highlight a skill, talent, challenge or opportunity that you think will help us know you better?

From your point of view, what do you feel makes you an excellent choice for UC? Don’t be afraid to brag a little.”

When are UCLA’s Application Deadlines?

UCLA has only one application deadline for all students — November 30th.

UCLA Acceptance Rate and Statistics

Just how hard is it to become a certified Bruin? The UCLA acceptance rate has dwindled to record lows in recent years. A whopping 145,910 students applied for admission to the Class of 2027, but only 12,737 of these, or 9%, were accepted. 

How Much Does UCLA Cost?

Out-of-state tuition costs rise by $34,200 dollars, leaving out-of-state UCLA dorm residents, off-campus apartment dwellers, and commuters paying $76,327, $77,361, and $67,959 respectively.

UCLA is a public university, and as such  tuition costs  vary depending on a student’s residential status. Total in-state tuition costs for UCLA dorm residents come to $42,127 per academic year. For in-state students living in off-campus apartments, this figure stands at $43,161, and for in-state commuters, the cost is $33,759.

How Ivy Coach Helps Students Get Into UCLA

88% of Ivy Coach ’s package clients earned admission to UCLA over the past five years. We understand the specific mix of expertise, rigorous academic performance, and intellectual and cultural vitality valued by UCLA admissions officers. 

If you’re interested in Ivy Coach’s assistance in optimizing your child’s case for admission to UCLA, fill out our  complimentary consultation form , and we’ll be in touch.

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Writing the College Application Personal Essay Workshop (Rising 12th Graders) – Full

June 24 9:00 am - june 27 12:00 pm.

college application essay ucla

June 24 – 27, 2024

9:00am – 12:00pm at ucla.

Instructor: Laurie Kurnick

This four-day workshop welcomes soon-to-be twelfth graders—who are thinking about that personal statement colleges are looking forward to reading. In this workshop, students will try their hand at a variety of application topics, explore the role of style (not just what you say but how you say it), and analyze sample personal statements. They’ll draft, share, revise, edit. By the end of the workshop, students will have several “starts” as well as a revised draft of a personal statement.

Registration is closed for this workshop since we have reached capacity.

You may join our waitlist and we’ll let you know if space beceomes available.

L. Kurnick

Her courses included AP Literature for 10 years, and she was happy to facilitate the AP Readiness workshops at UCLA both online and in person. She also taught English 9 – 12 at Cleveland, and a popular all-grades-welcome Creative Writing class. Currently she is the Manager of Education at Get Lit Words Ignite nonprofit, and she works with schools all over Southern California and beyond.

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Nancy Lee Sayre , Program Manager

Faye Peitzman , Director

Upcoming Events for Teachers

Teaching writing to multilingual english learners – teaching narrative writing – full, improving student writing: lessons and strategies to aid in writing improvement throughout the year, teaching writing to multilingual english learners – teaching analytical writing—literary analysis, teaching writing to multilingual english learners – teaching argument writing: synthesizing multiple sources – full, summer events for students, crafting the story – writing workshop (rising 5-6th graders), be a force of nature: reading and writing about the environment – writing workshop (rising 7-8th graders), college-ready writing: personal and academic, both (rising 9-12th graders) – full, online writing workshop – crafting the story (rising 5-6th graders), online writing workshop – literary adventures (rising 7-8th graders), online college-ready writing: personal and academic, both (rising 9-12th graders).

10 Strategies for Writing a College Application Essay

college application essay ucla

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Strategies How to Write a College Application Essay

Your college essay, frequently asked questions about writing a college application essay.

Writing a college application essay can have an incredible influence on the college admissions committees . The essay is designed to give students a chance to really show colleges who they are and what they aspire to be. This is why it’s important to compose something that makes your personal statement stand out amongst the hundreds of other students.

You want to write something captivating and impactful without overwhelming the reader yet staying true to you. But between knowing where to start and what to write about, the essay itself seems almost impossible to conquer. And this is where I come in.

Today’s article focuses on my carefully crafted 10-step strategy for writing the perfect college application essay . With some colleges no longer considering factors like high school grades and standardized test scores (i.e., SAT and ACT scores ), the pressure to create a college application essay can be fierce but stress no more. With the help of these ten strategies, you will be on your way to writing the strong college application essay that just might get you a seat at your dream college. Let’s get right into it!

Visit our Scholarship blog for more insight on college-related topics, plus access to hundreds of exclusive scholarships . So, don’t wait. Start applying today !

Start Early:

Because the whole application process is tedious from beginning to end, you want to give yourself plenty of time to work on your essay. Be sure to start brainstorming ideas early and create and outline your essay. Not only will this give you an idea of how you want to structure your essay, but it will also provide an ample amount of time to work on the essay. If you start early, you will also have more than enough time to edit and go through multiple drafts until your final draft is complete.

Understand the Prompt:

Before you begin writing anything, make sure you fully understand the essay prompt. The last thing you want to do is write an essay that has nothing to do with the theme/prompt the school has given prospective students. Look into the essay’s guidelines beforehand to have a clear understanding of what your topic is. That way, you don’t waste words and time.

Show, Don’t Tell:

It’s easy to put words on a paper and call it an essay, but that’s boring (and lazy)! Show your readers what you want them to see; don’t just tell them. Use specific examples to illustrate your points and qualities. Try adding some humor in there to give them an even clearer sense of your personality, as well.

Whatever theme or prompts you are focusing on in your essay, just make sure you show who you truly are. Bring your readers on your journey through any experience you’re highlighting rather than just telling them you were there. Use your achievements and moments of clarity to draw them in. An admissions officer will want to see your colors, not just hear about them.

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Be Authentic:

This is the key and probably the most important part of your essay. Be authentic and unapologetically you. Write in your own voice, and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Share your experiences, passions, and aspirations, but focus on how who you truly are, your values, and your goals. It’s easy to tell when something is forced, so stray away from generic tones and cliché jargon. Be fun, use humor, and showcase your natural tone. College admissions committees respect transparency and honesty as these characteristics usually line up with their institution’s values, so be authentically you.

Focus on a Specific Topic:

When you’re working on something like a college application essay where your goal is to stand out, it’s easy to ramble on about yourself, and that’s okay! But it’s important to know what is necessary and what overflow is. Choose a specific topic/theme that gives your story a way to showcase your personality and stick to it. You want to focus on key details and not details about the details. Stick to what you want to convey and use supporting information and/or characteristics.  

Structure Your Essay:

The key to a well-thought-out, formed essay is a strong outline. Organizing your thoughts will help you more than you know, so make sure you start your outline with a clear introduction that leads to strong body paragraphs that support your main points. And when all is said and done, you will wrap up your essay with an impressionable conclusion. You might go through a few outlines before you get to your final one, but that’s okay! Whatever works for you will shine through your essay.

writing an essay for college applications

Edit and Revise:

Editing is going to be your best friend. The first draft is always going to be a little messy, so make sure you go back and proofread your work for any grammar and spelling errors. The editing and writing process can also help you gain some clarity on what you are trying to convey to the college admissions committee. Because we’re the ones writing it, our thoughts make sense as soon they spill onto the paper, so proofreading your work will give you a chance to realign those thoughts and make it more coherent and smoother to read.

And since you’re the one writing it, it’s easy to overlook typos and missed punctuation, so I suggest taking breaks. And this can go any way! You can complete the first few paragraphs and then take a break; you can do one paragraph at a time or even the entire essay and then take a break. Whichever way you choose to go when it comes to writing essays, stepping back from your words can help you regain that sharp eye that will catch the errors.

Seek Feedback:

If you’re anything like me, you don’t like to bother people or ask for help, but for your college application essay, you have to put that aside. Don’t be afraid to ask teachers, counselors, your parents, peers, and friends to read your essay and provide constructive feedback in areas that need improvement. A second, third, and even fourth set of eyes will be able to catch things you can’t. Just be sure the people you know will set time aside to help you.

Also, request that your readers tell you what they gained from the essay. Did you perceive yourself well, did you miss anything, should you include a detail you don’t think it relevant to personal essay, but they do? You want to make sure your essay represents you academically, professionally, and personally, so listen closely to what they have to say and revise until it’s ready to go.

Be Positive:

Though I know it’s important to share your experiences and stories in your applications essay, I want to make sure you don’t focus on the negative aspects of your experiences (if any!). Colleges want to see their prospective student’s personalities and how they get through even the happiest of life experiences, and not just the challenging ones. Focus on your strengths, achievements, and growth while maintaining a positive and optimistic tone throughout your essay.

Leave them wanting more:

The goal point of your application’s essay is to stand out, so ending your essay with a strong closing sentence will amplify the reader’s interest that much more. Not only will these strategies inspire a well-written and authentic essay, but they can also increase your chances of making a strong, lasting impression on college admissions committees. Make sure your closing statement is witty and powerful and ties it all together.

Your college essay should show your personality, special qualities, experiences, and aspirations to the college admissions officers and committee. You don’t want to do too much, but you also don’t want to leave anything out . So, in case you get stuck, here are some elements to include in your college application essay:

  • Personal Story : Share your story and experiences that have shaped your identity and/or influenced your passions.
  • Academic Achievements : This is not the time to be modest about academic achievements, so highlight any awards or honors that demonstrate your dedication to education.
  • Goals and Aspirations : Clearly state your goals and aspirations and explain how attending the college you are applying to support those dreams.
  • Unique Perspective : Offer the unique perspectives or insights that set you apart from other applicants. This will showcase your individuality.
  • Writing Style : You want your essay to demonstrate strong writing skills, creativity, and clarity. Provide vivid language, clear storytelling, and proper grammar and punctuation.
  • Relevance : Make sure your essay directly addresses the college’s prompts or questions and aligns with the values and mission of the institution.
  • Reflection : Reflect on your experiences, challenges, and growth, and show how they have shaped your character and prepared you for college.
  • Be Yourself : But most importantly, be You. Stay true to your authenticity, as it is the one thing that will make you stand out the most!

In truth, your college application essay doesn’t have to drag . Include some of these elements into your work, and you might even (dare I say) have fun showing every college board member who you are and what you have to offer the world of academia. Good luck, and happy writing your admissions essays .

college essay writing

What should I write about in my college application essay?

When it comes to topics for your college application essay, choose a subject that boasts your unique personality, experiences, and personal values. Consider sharing a personal story that shines a light on your strengths, or write about any challenges you’ve overcome gracefully or a significant moment that helped shape your identity. The goal of college essays is to provide admissions officers with insight into who you are beyond your academic achievements, not just that you can put together an essay.

How long should my college application essay be?

Most colleges have specific guidelines regarding the length of the application essay, typically ranging from 250 to 650 words. It is important to adhere to the word count limit provided by the college to ensure that your essay is concise and focused. Be sure to carefully review the college application process and instructions to determine the appropriate length for your essay.

How can I make my college application essay stand out?

To make your college application essay stand out, focus on your authentic voice and perspective. Avoid clichés and generic statements, and instead, strive to convey your unique personality and experiences. Use bold language, descriptive details, and storytelling techniques to captivate the reader’s attention. Don’t be afraid to get feedback from teachers, counselors, or peers to ensure that your college essay topic is well-written and effectively communicates your message.

Interested in learning more from Bold.org ? Visit our Scholarship Blog to stay up to date on everything you need to know about college topics and apply for scholarships today.

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Most Asian Americans think SAT but not race is fair to consider for college admissions

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Most Asian American adults support use of the SAT and other standardized testing, along with high school grades, in college admission decisions but reject considering race or ethnicity to determine access, according to a new national survey released Wednesday.

The majority also think it’s unfair for colleges to consider an applicant’s athletic ability, family alumni ties, ability to pay full tuition or parents’ educational levels in determining who should get acceptance letters, the survey found.

At the same time, most Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders surveyed believe that slavery, racism and segregation should be taught in schools and oppose individual school boards restricting classroom discussion of specific topics, as some conservative districts have done.

Overall, AAPI adults value higher education not only as a pathway to economic well-being but for teaching critical thinking, fostering the free exchange of ideas and advancing equity and inclusion.

The survey by AAPI Data, a UC research enterprise, and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research interviewed a nationally representative sample of 1,068 AAPI adults age 18 and older. The poll, conducted April 8-17 in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese and Korean, has a margin of error of 4.7 percentage points.

The poll offers a comprehensive look at attitudes toward education among Asian Americans, who make up a disproportionately large share of students at the University of California and other selective institutions — yet are often overlooked in policy discussions about equity and diversity.

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 29: Kashish Bastola, a rising sophomore at Harvard University, hugs Nahla Owens, also a Harvard University student, outside of the Supreme Court of the United States on Thursday, June 29, 2023 in Washington, DC. In a 6-3 vote, Supreme Court Justices ruled that race-conscious admissions programs at Harvard and the University of North Carolina are unconstitutional, setting precedent for affirmative action in other universities and colleges. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Supreme Court strikes down race-based affirmative action in college admissions

In another major reversal, the Supreme Court forbids the use of race as an admissions factor at colleges and universities.

June 29, 2023

Several polls have shown that Asian Americans support affirmative action, depending on how the question is asked. A 2022 survey found support at 69% when respondents were asked if they favor programs to help Black people, women and other minorities get access to higher education. But Asian American plaintiffs who led a landmark lawsuit against Harvard University argued that affirmative action policies that use race as a factor in admissions discriminated against them. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down such race-conscious practices.

In the new survey, the question about using race in admissions, worded without context about who it would help, drew little support. Asked if they think it is “fair, unfair or neither fair or unfair for colleges and universities to make decisions about admitting students” based on race and ethnicity, 18% of respondents said it was fair, 53% said it was unfair, and 27% said it was neither.

The AAPI Data/Associated Press-NORC survey is among the first to gauge Asian American attitudes on standardized testing and other metrics for college admissions, along with broader questions about the value of education.

“The stereotype of AAPIs might suggest that they care about education only in a narrow way as it relates to economic mobility and hard skills related to job prospects,” said Karthick Ramakrishnan, a UC Riverside professor of public policy and political science and founder of AAPI Data. “This study reveals a more nuanced and fuller portrait, illustrating that AAPI individuals value education ... also for fostering critical thinking and nurturing a more informed citizenry.”

A strong majority — 71% — of those surveyed believe the history of slavery, racism, segregation and the AAPI community should be taught in public schools. A smaller majority, 53%, favor teaching about sex and sexuality — including 72% of AAPI Democrats and 25% of Republicans.

Overall, AAPI adults hold similar views as the general American public about the keys to children’s success: hard work, time spent with parents and which schools they attend. Asian Americans, however, are significantly more likely to believe the neighborhoods they live in are important to educational success — 62%, compared with 49% of all Americans. Ramakrishnan said research has shown that AAPI families are more willing to move to areas with good schools even if it means living in worse housing.

Asian American support for standardized testing comes as several elite universities have restored those requirements for admissions after pausing them during the pandemic. In recent months, Harvard, Caltech, Yale, Dartmouth and the University of Texas at Austin, among others, have reinstated testing mandates.

Access Youth Center students working on SAT test prep.

UC slams the door on standardized admissions tests, nixing any SAT alternative

The University of California has slammed the door shut on standardized testing for admissions, saying no alternative to the SAT can avoid bias based on race, income.

Nov. 18, 2021

Some institutions say their reviews showed that the testing requirements increase diversity — benefiting applicants with less access to rigorous high school curriculum, strong letters of recommendation or impressive extracurricular activities. Others have said it’s harder to assess an applicant’s readiness for college work without standardized testing — especially because many educators have reported significant grade inflation since the pandemic.

The University of California and California State University have both eliminated standardized testing requirements for admission.

While some UC leaders have indicated interest in reviewing the impact of that decision on student outcomes, faculty leaders say there may not be much of an appetite for it. The UC Board of Regents rejected the Academic Senate’s recommendation to retain testing requirements and voted to bar them for admissions decisions.

USC is continuing its test-optional policy — accepting scores from those who wish to submit them but not penalizing those who don’t — and is reviewing whether to continue that course.

Frank Xu, a San Diego parent of a high-school sophomore and an MIT student, said he opposed UC regents’ decision to nix testing mandates and believes that the preponderance of research shows that test scores highly correlate with college success.

“I’m all for research-based decisions, and I felt that at UC, it was a completely political decision to ignore the faculty senate,” he said.

But some Asian American students say testing is an unfair factor in admissions decisions.

At Downtown Magnets High School, students Rida Hossain and Shariqa Sultana said their families were not able to afford test prep, with annual incomes of less than $30,000 and relatives in Bangladesh to support.

“Standardized testing doesn’t portray a student’s capacity for how they’ll perform in higher education, because in the classroom, they’ll be doing a lot of essay writing, research, collaboration and projects that wouldn’t necessarily be put into a multiple-choice exam,” Shariqa said. “How you actually perform in class and your extracurriculars are a better metric than one test that determines your entire future.”

Ramakrishnan said there are several reasons why many Asian Americans support standardized testing. The majority are immigrants from China, Korea, India and other countries that use such tests for college admissions, he said. They are accustomed to a system of high-stakes testing and see it as an equitable way to determine college access, compared with wealth or political connections.

The survey backs up that point, showing that 70% of AAPI respondents who are immigrants back testing, compared with 56% of those born in the United States. A plurality of those surveyed, 45%, said it was fair to consider personal experiences with hardship or adversity.

But 69% of those surveyed said legacy admissions — preferential treatment for children of alumni — was unfair, while 48% oppose consideration of an applicant’s ability to pay. A majority, 54%, don’t think it’s fair to consider whether applicants are the first in their family to attend college.

More to Read

FILE - Protesters dressed as Abraham Lincoln chant during a Planned Parenthood rally in support of abortion access outside the U.S. Supreme Court, April 15, 2023, in Washington. A new poll from from AAPI Data and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows that Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in the U.S. are highly supportive of legal abortion, even in situations where the pregnant person wants an abortion for any reason. (AP Photo/Nathan Howard, File)

Nearly 8 in 10 AAPI adults in U.S. think abortion should be legal, poll finds

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FILE - In this photo taken Jan. 17, 2016, a student looks at questions during a college test preparation class at Holton Arms School in Bethesda, Md. The SAT exam will move from paper and pencil to a digital format, administrators announced Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, saying the shift will boost its relevancy as more colleges make standardized tests optional for admission. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Letters to the Editor: If the inequitable SAT is back, bring test prep to all high schools

Irvine, CA - May 11: A view of students and faculty at the courtyard at the University of California-Irvine in Irvine Thursday, May 11, 2023. UC Irvine is boosting student housing construction amid a critical statewide shortage of affordable dorms, which has pushed some students to live in cars, tents or squeezed into cramped quarters with several roommates. UCI received a state housing construction grant, one of the few UC campuses to do so; the funds will help the university offer rents at 30% below market value. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

UC applications rise for fall 2024, with gains in diversity and transfer applicants

March 6, 2024

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college application essay ucla

Teresa Watanabe covers education for the Los Angeles Times. Since joining the Times in 1989, she has covered immigration, ethnic communities, religion, Pacific Rim business and served as Tokyo correspondent and bureau chief. She also covered Asia, national affairs and state government for the San Jose Mercury News and wrote editorials for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. A Seattle native, she graduated from USC in journalism and in East Asian languages and culture.

More From the Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 16, 2024: Protesters, some from Socialist Unity Party, others LGBTQIA2-S or human rights activists, chant while protesting across the street from a Protect Kids of California Act of 2024 ballot measure rally at the Glory Church in Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon, Mar. 16, 2024. Conservative school board members, pastors and others affiliated with "Save our Children" held the rally and meeting at the downtown L.A. church to rile up their supporters. Parental notification policies generally require educators to inform parents when a student requests to be identified as a gender other than that of the student's biological sex or the gender listed on the birth certificate or any other official records. The group wants to put the issue on the ballot in November. There is already a court fight over such policies in a handful of districts. (Silvia Razgova / For The Times) ATTN: 1424056-me-parental-notification-ballot-measure

Proposal to limit transgender youth rights fails to qualify for California’s November ballot

May 28, 2024

LOS ANGELES, CA MAY 28, 2024 - Academic workers at UCLA went on strike Tuesday, May 28, 2024, alleging their workers' rights have been violated by University of California actions during pro-Palestinian protests and encampment crackdowns. Thousands of UAW Local 4811 members at UCLA and UC Davis participated in the second round of a campus Unfair Labor Practice strikes. UAW 4811 represents around 48,000 workers across the state, including 6,400 at UCLA and 5,700 at Davis. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Kaffiyehs and pickets: UCLA, UC Davis workers strike over treatment at pro-Palestinian protests

Baldwin Park, CA, Thursday, May 6, 2021 - Starbucks in one hand, smartphone in the other, Jesus Medina looks for teachers arriving on campus at Sierra Vista High, to add to his collection of selfies minutes after hanging a teacher appreciation banner. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

Commentary: Here’s how to actually show appreciation for teachers

May 25, 2024

Los Angeles, CA - August 14: Lenicia B. Weemes Elementary School on Monday, Aug. 14, 2023 in Los Angeles, CA. First day of school TK (transitional kindergarten) student Melinda Rodriguez, right, is ready as her friend Mia Portillo is comforted by her Mother Daisy Salazar, left, as students assemble for the first day of school at Lenicia B. Weemes Elementary School on the first day of classes for LAUSD students. (Al Seib / For The Times)

LAUSD caves to public outcry: No more timed testing for 4-year-olds

May 24, 2024

Calculate for all schools

Your chance of acceptance, your chancing factors, extracurriculars, college application timeline for class of 2024.

Hey there! I'm in the class of 2024 and I'm trying to plan my college application strategy. When should I start applying for college?

Hello! It's great that you're planning ahead for your college applications. Here's a general timeline for the Class of 2024:

1. Spring (Junior Year): Start researching colleges to create your initial list of schools. Register for and take the SAT or ACT. Begin considering potential recommenders (teachers, coaches, mentors) for your application.

2. Summer (Before Senior Year): Narrow down your college list and sort schools into categories (safety, target, and reach). Visit colleges virtually or in-person, if possible. Begin working on your personal statement/Common App essay and brainstorm ideas for school-specific supplements. Use CollegeVine's chancing tools and resources to help you finalize your list. Start exploring financial aid and scholarship opportunities.

3. Fall (Senior Year): Obtain letters of recommendation from your chosen recommenders. Finish your personal statement and college-specific supplementary essays. Send standardized test scores, if required, to your colleges.

- Check if your schools accept Early Decision (ED) or Early Action (EA) applications, and consider submitting them by the respective deadlines (usually around November 1st or 15th).

- November:

- University of California (UC) application filing period is from October 1 to November 30.

4. Winter (Senior Year): Finish submitting all Regular Decision (RD) applications by January 1st (or earlier, depending on the college's deadline). Complete and submit the FAFSA and, if needed, the CSS Profile.

- December:

- ED and EA decisions are typically released around mid-December.

- Submit RD applications before the deadline (often January 1st or January 15th for many colleges, but always double-check each school's specific deadline).

5. Spring (Senior Year): Wait for application decisions. Continue applying for scholarships and financial aid.

- March and April:

- Most schools release RD decisions during these months.

- National Decision Day: Decide which college you'll attend and submit your enrollment deposit.

- Receive a high school diploma and send your final transcripts to your college.

This timeline should give you a clear idea of when to start your college application process and a general chronological structure to follow. The key is to begin early and stay organized, ensuring everything is submitted on time. Good luck in your college application journey!

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.

Uncommon Stanford applications: Students delve into Common App essays

Open up written in a text bubble next to a student. Someone off camera points a microphone towards them.

Stanford students delve into the stories that inspired Common Application essays and how they feel about the essays now that they’re enrolled in college.

Ananya Udaygiri is the Vol. 265 Video Managing Editor. A sophomore from Houston, TX, she sometimes writes for News -- and on bad days, for Humor.

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UCLA Extension

Introduction to Writing College Essays Part 1: Brainstorming

This two-week intensive course trains aspiring college counselors, advisors, and other education professionals on the purpose, role, and structure of college admissions essays. The course will explore techniques, standards, and ethics to be used when supporting students through the college essay writing process.

What you can learn.

  • Learn about the purpose and role that college essays play in the admission process
  • Learn strategies your students can utilize for brainstorming their college essay topics
  • Understand the various types of essays such as personal statements, personal insight questions, and college-specific supplements
  • Explore techniques behind providing ethical guidance and support to students in the college essay writing process
  • Identify different approaches for helping students navigate and maintain their own voice throughout the writing and editing process

About this course:

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COMMENTS

  1. Personal Insight Questions

    These questions are about getting to know you better, so be open, reflective, find your individual voice and express it. Freshman Applicants: You will have eight questions to choose from, you must respond to any four of the eight questions. The questions you choose to answer are entirely up to you. Transfer Applicants: There is one required ...

  2. Apply

    August 1. UC application opens. October 1. UC starts accepting applications. November 30. Last day to file UC applications. Late March. Decisions for most freshman applicants released. Late April.

  3. UCLA Essay Prompts 2023-2024

    UCLA Essay Prompts 2023-2024. Welcome to UCLA, one of the world's top universities. As you start your college application journey, pay attention to a crucial part that can make you stand out: the essays for the 2023-2024 admissions cycle at UCLA.

  4. Freshman Admission

    When you apply for admission, we consider your accomplishments both in and outside of the classroom. In fact, there are 13 criteria that our faculty have approved for freshman admission consideration. Among the factors we consider are: Strong academic performance in a rigorous high school program. Special talents, awards or accomplishments.

  5. Personal insight questions

    Remember, the personal insight questions are just that—personal. Which means you should use our guidance for each question just as a suggestion in case you need help. The important thing is expressing who you are, what matters to you and what you want to share with UC. 1. Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have ...

  6. 18 UCLA Essays That Worked (and Why) for 2023

    Here are the 18 best UCLA accepted essays that worked written by accepted students for each Personal Insight Question prompt #1-8. Prompt #1: Leadership Experience. UCLA Example Essay #1. UCLA Example Essay #2. Prompt #2: Creative Side. UCLA Example Essay #3: Violin. UCLA Example Essay #4.

  7. University of California, Los Angeles

    Please respond to any 4 of the 8 questions below.We realize that not all questions apply to all applicants, so be sure to select the 4 questions that you believe give us the best information about you.All 8 questions are given equal consideration in the application review process. Responses to each question should be between 250-350 words.

  8. Freshman Requirements

    UCLA will not consider SAT or ACT scores for admission or scholarship purposes. If you choose to submit test scores as part of your application, they may be used as an alternative method of fulfilling minimum requirements for eligibility or for course placement after you enroll. UCLA's ACT number: 0448 UCLA's College Board (SAT) number: 4837

  9. UCLA Undergraduate Admission

    Visit UCLA Admission to learn about applying and explore UCLA's academics, campus life, tuition, financial aid, research ... and a beautiful campus — everything I could hope to have as part of my college experience. — Connor Ching, statistics major, digital humanities and entrepreneurship minors ... application deadlines and more. Request ...

  10. Application Review Process for Freshmen

    Each year, UCLA considers more excellent applicants for freshmen admission than it can possibly admit. The goal of the campus' admissions review process is to single out from a large and growing pool of academically strong applicants those unique individuals who have demonstrated the intellectual curiosity, tenacity, and commitment to community service expected of the UCLA graduate.

  11. UCLA Successful Essay Examples

    Read her full UCLA application essay. Mbshark UCLA '20 . Prompt: Describe the world you come from - for example, your family, community, or school - and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations. ... In Part one of this two-part series, college admissions coach Justin Taylor explains key lessons about 2020, "a year like ...

  12. UCLA Personal Statement: FAQ, Examples & Insider Tips

    The UC system provides eight personal insight questions for the 2023-24 admissions cycle. You are required to respond to four of them. Each response should be 250 to 350 words. Review the questions carefully and choose the four that you feel are the most relevant to your circumstances and life experience.

  13. Transfer Admission

    The UCLA Transfer Admission Guide outlines the major prerequisites we expect to be finished no later than the spring term prior to transfer. If you're currently attending a California Community College, you can contact the transfer center there or the UCLA Undergraduate Admission counselor assigned to your school.

  14. UCLA essay requirements and tips?

    Hello! UCLA is part of the University of California (UC) system, and all UC schools use the same application and Personal Insight Questions (PIQs). You'll need to respond to four out of eight PIQs, and each response should be a maximum of 350 words. You can find the list of PIQ prompts on the UC's application website or through this link: https://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/how-to ...

  15. How to Get into UCLA + Admissions Requirements

    The unweighted GPA requirements for UCLA are between 3.9 to 4.0 and the median GPA score is 4.0. UCLA considers unweighted GPA as a factor of admissions. Unweighted GPA is the average of the grades you got in high school (typically from at least grades 10th and 11th) based on a 4.0 scale.

  16. ucla essay questions

    Hey! UCLA, like many other colleges, uses the University of California (UC) application system, which features a set of eight personal insight questions. You will be asked to choose four out of the eight questions to answer, and each response should be a maximum of 350 words. Here are the UC personal insight questions for the current application cycle: 1.

  17. Essay Scoop: How to Answer UCLA Essays

    Still, the admissions office looks for more than just straight-A students. Rather, UCLA wants college students with rich experiences and diverse perspectives to compose the incoming classes. Below is some helpful advice on responding to the UCLA essays! UCLA is the second oldest University of California campus. This renowned university offers ...

  18. UC Essay Prompts: Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD

    The University of California schools have released their 2023-2024 essay prompts for applicants to the Class of 2024. Unlike most highly selective universities, the UC schools are not members of The Common Application — the school has its own application. Just like in previous years, applicants to the University of California, Berkeley, the ...

  19. Introduction to Writing College Essays Part 2 ...

    Essential elements of identifying the right essay prompt to answer, structuring the essay, managing multiple essay drafts to the final polish process are covered in this course. This is part two of a two course series, with an introduction to the structure and review process of college essays. The ideal participant for this course is an ...

  20. how to get in UCLA (it's not that hard): GPA, SAT ...

    Giving some UCLA application tips and college personal statement strategies!From my UCLA acceptance stats (AKA my low GPA and low SAT scores), it is definite...

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    The University of California, Los Angeles combines the beachy SoCal lifestyle with the amenities of a world-class research university. Tied for 15th place in the 2024 US News & World Report annual college ranking, UCLA is widely considered one of the most prestigious public universities in the nation. With a $6.2 billion dollar endowment, nationally ranked undergraduate and graduate programs ...

  22. Writing the College Application Personal Essay Workshop ...

    9:00AM - 12:00PM at UCLA. This four-day workshop welcomes soon-to-be twelfth graders—who are thinking about that personal statement colleges are looking forward to reading. In this workshop, students will try their hand at a variety of application topics, explore the role of style (not just what you say but how you say it), and analyze ...

  23. UCLA, UC Davis Academic Workers Go on Strike

    Last week, nearly 2,000 academic workers at the University of California (UC), Santa Cruz went on strike over the university's response to pro-Palestinian protests. Now, thousands more are set to join the strike in Los Angeles and Davis, the second round of campuses to be called to action in the union's stand-up strike.. Some 48,000 academic workers across the UC system are represented by the ...

  24. 10 Strategies for Writing a College Application Essay

    Today's article focuses on my carefully crafted 10-step strategy for writing the perfect college application essay. With some colleges no longer considering factors like high school grades and standardized test scores (i.e., SAT and ACT scores), the pressure to create a college application essay can be fierce but stress no more. With the help ...

  25. Most Asian Americans think SAT is fair factor in college admissions

    May 29, 2024 3 AM PT. Most Asian American adults support use of the SAT and other standardized testing, along with high school grades, in college admission decisions but reject considering race or ...

  26. University of California, Los Angeles

    The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is a public land-grant research university in Los Angeles, California, United States.Its academic roots were established in 1881 as a normal school then known as the southern branch of the California State Normal School which later evolved into San José State University.The branch was transferred to the University of California to become the ...

  27. College Application Timeline for Class of 2024

    Hello! It's great that you're planning ahead for your college applications. Here's a general timeline for the Class of 2024: 1. Spring (Junior Year): Start researching colleges to create your initial list of schools. Register for and take the SAT or ACT. Begin considering potential recommenders (teachers, coaches, mentors) for your application. 2.

  28. Uncommon Stanford applications: Students delve into Common App essays

    Published May 29, 2024, 12:29 a.m., last updated May 29, 2024, 12:29 a.m. Stanford students delve into the stories that inspired Common Application essays and how they feel about the essays now ...

  29. Introduction to Writing College Essays Part 1: Brainstorming

    Instructor: Cyndy McDonald. 398155. Fee: $315.00. Online. Updating... <p>This two-week intensive course trains aspiring college counselors, advisors, and other education professionals on the purpose, role, and structure of college admissions essays. The course will explore techniques, standards, and ethics to be used when supporting students ...

  30. Colleges with the Most NFL Players in 2024

    College basketball programs around the country are consistent sources of NBA talent, as top schools like Kentucky, Duke, and UNC produce athletes that every year get drafted into the pros. But the college football-to-NFL pipeline is even more productive. There are currently 1,696 active players in the NFL. And 1,503 of them—a massive 88.6%—were drafted