Since the University of California (UC) has suspended the requirement of SAT and ACT scores for all admissions cycles through Fall 2025, which affects current (2020-21) 8th graders, subjectivity in admissions evaluations will likely increase, as officers will lose a standardized metric as a comparison for the GPA, extracurricular resume and essays, utilizing the UC’s 14 Comprehensive Review points.
UC admissions officers seek to understand the totality of a student’s talents and interests, which are often exemplified in extracurricular activities, both organized and hobbies. Thus, the eleventh Comprehensive Review criteria is:
- Special talents, achievements and awards in a particular field, such as visual and performing arts, communication or athletic endeavors; special skills, such as demonstrated written and oral proficiency in other languages; special interests, such as intensive study and exploration of other cultures; experiences that demonstrate unusual promise for leadership, such as significant community service or significant participation in student government; or other significant experiences or achievements that demonstrate the student’s promise for contributing to the intellectual vitality of a campus.
By listing a variety of extracurricular activities from arts to athletics to volunteerism, no one activity is weighted greater than the other. Thus, potential applicants are free to choose which activities are most suited to their interests and talents, dispelling the myth that applicants need to be well-rounded by participating in a variety of activities.
Of special note, the UC does not define leadership, as “titled positions” in a club or team or other organization, but instead as “significant experiences or achievements that demonstrate the student’s promise for contributing to the intellectual vitality of a campus”. Thus, students have wide latitude to define “leadership”, I recommend using the dictionary as a starting point, then reflect on their own experience to identify their qualities as a “leader”, which can be then described in the “Awards & Activities” section of the UC application.
For more information about how Creative Marbles experts can help students and parents navigate the new normal of college admissions, contact us at Creative Marbles Consultancy