FERPA, the law that allows Stanford students to gain access to their admissions files, will allow you to gain access to your UC admissions file. But as The Daily Californian reported, you may be disappointed by what you find:
“Much of the records are exactly what the student wrote and supplied — so not anything very exciting,” Jarich [Amy Jarich, UC Berkeley’s Director of Undergraduate Admissions] said.
Throughout the admissions process, applications are reviewed by about two to three admissions officers and are given a numerical score, according to Jarich. But the scores are not kept on file to be released after the decisions have been made [emphasis added].
So should you request your admissions file?
For the admitted:
Jarich said that for UC Berkeley students who request their files, it might be interesting to see how the campus organizes its information.
Translation – you get to see how the campus organized your application before presenting it to the application readers and admission officers.
If you were not admitted:
… because UC Berkeley is a public institution and California maintains freedom of public records laws, rejected students also technically have the right to request their files.
Don’t expect an explanation for why you were not admitted. According to the Berkeley reader I know, applications are read online and the readers cannot make notes on the files electronically. At best, you can see how the campus organized your application before presenting it to the application readers and admission officers. At worst, you take a terrible trip down memory lane.
How do you request your admissions file?
To view the files, students have to submit a request in writing to the campus admissions office, preferably through email. The office then has 45 days to respond and allow the records to be viewed, in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
You may request your admissions file using this procedure at all UC campuses.
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