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University of California Los Angeles Admission Strategies

University of California Los Angeles UCLA

This is a student's guide to admission strategies (we make no guarantees of admission) to the University of California Los Angeles.

Not all admission strategies are created equal. The first things to know for making a road map for admission, are the particulars of the University of California, Los Angeles. Let's evaluate the facts that are readily available to admission hopefuls for incoming Freshman, Transfer Students, and International Students.

University of California Los Angeles Admission Strategies

What is the Acceptance Rate at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)?

Acceptance Rate at UCLA

The University of California, Los Angeles has an acceptance rate of 14%.

This means that UCLA accepts 14 students for every 100 applicants.

But how many applications are submitted? The application pool is roughly 108,877 applications received annually by the university.

So the actual number of admitted students is around 15,925 students (14% of 108,877 = 15,242).

The question is: What sets apart these almost 16,000 students out of the total? Parsing this data can render a minimum set of factors, which can then be made meaningful (unless the admission process and application data is proprietary to UCLA and not within our analyses).

The University of California, Los Angeles receives the most high school graduate applications of all colleges in America; more than all other colleges and universities in the U.S. This makes UCLA the most popular university for high school students (as measured by the total number of applications).

UCLABy the Numbers
Acceptance Rate14%
Total Applicants113,754
Number of Accepted Students15,925
Graduation Rate91%
Tuition & Fees (In State)Tuition: $11,442.00, Fees: $1,784.00
Median SAT Score1405
Median ACT Score32
Student Body44,000
Undergraduate Students32,000
Graduate Students12,000
Average Earnings 10+ years after Graduating$73,200.00

To apply as an incoming freshman, you must either still be in high school, or have graduated but not yet attended any other college. If you've already attended college elsewhere, then you'll be in the category of a Transfer Student (mentioned below). You will apply using their Online Application.

From UCLA's admissions site, they look for the following qualities:

• Achievement in high school or college coursework

• Personal qualities

• Likely contributions to the intellectual and cultural vitality of our campus

• Achievement in academic enrichment programs

• Other achievements in any field of intellectual or creative endeavor, including the performing arts, athletics, community service, etc.


What UCLA values in applicants can be condensed into three categories:

  • Academics
  • Accomplishments (awards and talents)
  • Personal Insight

Academics are determined by the high school student's G.P.A. (grade point average), which falls into two categories:

  • Unweighted
  • Fully Weighted

Fully Weighted G.P.A. means that approved honors courses are considered, and added to the usual 4.0 scale, potentially adding an extra point (making it a 5.0 scale).

Unweighted G.P.A. means no honors courses are added, and it's kept at the traditional 4.0 G.P.A. scale.

An important note: A student's G.P.A. score is determined by averaging the grades made while in 10th and 11th grades of high school. So these two years are the most important, and matter more to the G.P.A. (and admission process) than a student's freshman or senior year grades. Students who want a shot at getting into UCLA need to perform their very best in their sophomore and junior years of high school.

Students must complete 15 courses in high school, with 11 of them being completed before the senior year.

These include the following subjects (and classes required):

  • History: 2 years
  • English: 4 years
  • Mathematics: 3 years
  • Science: 2 years
  • Language (besides English): 2 years
  • Visual and Performing Arts: 1 year
  • College Prep Elective: 1 year

Given the above academic requirements, students really need to start learning the admissions requirements in 9th grade, and strategize accordingly starting in 10th grade, in order to satisfy these requirements over the course of high school.

Accomplishments: Whatever talents and awards that are salient and showcase your individual ability. Can you play the piano or violin or guitar? Were you accomplished in Debate or Chess?

Personal Insight: The personal insight questions is probably an assessment of your maturity, and is it sufficiently realized to be a contributing student to the school, and one who can benefit from their teaching, relative to other applicants. Do you have the maturity to be self-aware and give insightful answers to the personal questions?

You can respond to four out of the eight total number of questions. These are written answers, so the consideration will probably take into account your personal insights, but also your writing abilities.

Choose the questions for which you have the most interesting and arresting responses. It's best to be authentic. So answer questions that are meaningful to you. Have someone competent proofread your responses. If that's not an option, choose an online editor such as Grammarly to check for errors and suggest improvements.

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