UC Fall 2020 Freshman/Transfer Admission Stats

Stressed out by the freshman application numbers? Want more detailed/accurate admission stats (including waitlist/appeal numbers)? Search for them in the most recent campus updates from the September 2020 UC Counselor Conference or, if you rather have the information handed to you on a platter, get two neatly assembled PDFs from me for just $25 (includes Fall 2019 and Fall 2020 complete freshman admission stats released by the UCs) here (on the PayPal payment confirmation page, scroll down and click “Return to Merchant” button to access download).

Prefer to research the UC admission stats yourself? Below is a consolidated list of where to locate them for freshman and transfer applicants.

The UCs updated the Fall 2020 general admission stats for BOTH freshman and transfer applicants on their admissions website during the summer. I have created a consolidated list of the relevant admission stats for freshman applicants here and for transfer applicants here for easy referencing (including where to locate the Common Data Set for freshman applicants at each UC campus, as well as available transfer programs offered by each UC campus).

There is also a PDF of campus-by-campus comparison of admit rate of California freshman applicants, as well as GPA range, ACT/SAT score range, and A-G/Honors count of admitted California freshman applicants for the past three years. A similar PDF (campus-by-campus comparison of admit rate and GPA range) for California community college transfer applicants is also available.

You can find additional admission stats through the UC Information Center (recently updated with data from Fall 2020) by following my instructions in this blog post.

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February 14, 2021 at 5:46 pm

Hi Ms. Sun! Stumbled across your blog as I was researching for my kiddo next fall. When UC publishes its freshman GPA profile, are they only looking at summer after freshman year thru junior year a-g grades? Do they use the same set of gpa to review applications (although I understand they look at the holistic transcript). Thank you.

Ms. Sunreply
February 14, 2021 at 11:09 pm
– In reply to: Ann

GPA is calculated using A-G courses taken after freshman year and before senior year (so it includes summer after 9th through summer after 11th). Almost all of the published GPA are “capped” (up to eight semesters of weighted grades), but most UCs evaluate applicants using fully weighted GPA. I get a lot of “I have a 4.2, why didn’t I get into Berkeley!” from students and unfortunately, while the published (capped) GPA make it seem like 4.2 is the average for most admitted students, the actual average for admitted students is usually closer to 4.5 (fully weighted) at the competitive UCs.

February 14, 2021 at 11:41 pm

Thank you for the quick response! Is the fully weighted (your 4.5 example) based on 10-11th a-g uncapped or is it the fully weighted on typical student transcript that include everything from freshman year thru junior year? Ours include the non a-g in the weighted calculations. I could see a scenario where my daughter’s school transcript fully weighted is at 4.4 while her UC uncapped weighted (10-11th, a-g) is 4.54 so wasn’t sure which one defines fully weighted in the UC gpa standard.

Ms. Sunreply
February 15, 2021 at 11:15 am
– In reply to: Ann

GPA is calculated using the same set of coursework and grades (A-G courses taken after freshman year and before senior year), the only difference between the GPA in most published admission stats and the GPA used for admission evaluation at most UCs is that the former is capped and the latter is uncapped.

GPA on the high school transcript is basically never accurate (even if the school calculates a separate “UC GPA”) because any courses that are not A-G need to be excluded and there are often errors in which Honors courses are weighted (I’ve seen course catalogs from several schools where courses marked as A-G or Honors were NOT on the UC A-G Course List – this is an error that the school needs to fix with the UCs).

I know how to accurately calculate the GPA, but there isn’t a good way for me to provide instructions that would clearly explain (and prevent misinterpretation of) ALL of the issues and exceptions that would come up (it’s kind of like if I were an accountant and I provide instructions on how to file taxes – if you have a very straightforward filing, that would work, but there is a really good chance that a pretty big chunk of the people will end up doing it wrong because of exceptions).

Just to give you an idea of what is involved, I first check all courses taken at the high school and any outside institutions, such as online schools, against the UC A-G Course List, and also verify any community college courses taken are UC-transferable (which only account for one term for GPA per course even though each course would satisfy two terms for subject requirement). Once I know which courses should be included, I then calculate the capped, uncapped, and unweighted GPA for the students: capped GPA allows them to see how they compare to the published stats; uncapped GPA allows them to see how competitive they are for campuses that use uncapped GPA and publish the uncapped stats; and unweighted GPA is another quantitative factor that all UCs consider.

February 15, 2021 at 1:02 pm
– In reply to: Ms. Sun

Thank you! This is very clear to me on the UC three GPA’s among UW, capped W, and Uncapped or Fully Weighted and you are right. Some courses on the school transcript listed the classes as college prep a-g and Honors (eg Honors math III), but on the official UC list for our high school, it is called Honors but doesn’t get the Honors designation by UC. Phew.

Ms. Sunreply
February 15, 2021 at 4:46 pm
– In reply to: Ann


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