For UC Berkeley’s 2015-2016 freshman class, a little over 13,300 students were offered admission from a total of 78,918 students who applied. Considering the highly competitive nature for this very selective public university, the number of freshman applications has increased by 7 percent; however, the number of available seats has largely remained the same.
Currently, prospective freshmen at UC Berkeley are evaluated based on an array of factors that include indicators of student persistence, academic achievement, standardized test scores, school involvement, and leadership abilities. However, beginning in the fall of 2015, the university is requesting additional information from all its prospective freshman applicants.
All students applying for the 2016-2017 freshman class will have the opportunity to submit two letters of recommendation only if specifically requested by the admissions staff. The admissions officers will contact these students and they will have until January 1st to submit the requested recommendations. UC Berkeley faculty approved of the new policy in April 2015. By allowing applicants to submit letters of recommendation, it will provide students with additional opportunity to present a more complete sketch of themselves and their ability to persist as a successful member of the institution. By allowing letters of recommendation, it will provide invaluable information about the applicant that cannot otherwise be derived from the rest of application alone. UC Berkeley hopes that by offering selected students the opportunity to submit letters, the recommenders can speak about their “leadership, love of learning, and concern for others” as noted in the Daily Californian.
Other pertinent information about UC Berkeley’s new policy includes the following:
- All letters of recommendation will be submitted through a supplement to UC Berkeley’s online application for student admission.
- The student’s teacher must write one of the two letters and UC Berkeley notes that the recommender can reuse a previous letter of recommendation to help minimize the stress from the recommenders and also the application process.
As of now, however, the new admissions policy will not apply to other UC campuses nor will it be a part of UC Berkeley’s admissions requirements for transfer students.
Read more detailed information on Berkeley’s 2015 admissions data.