Part I: Overview of the Particularities of the UC Enrollment Process

You must not necessarily be from California or even the United States in order to strive to get enrolled in the University of California (UC) schools. It is beneficial to scrutinize miscellaneous UC essays examples before filling in your own application. This article will provide you with valuable hints.

Both American and international students consider this public university system among the most prestigious and intellectual ones. Educational establishments at stake are remarkable: it is time to explore first-rate elite schools and private institutions! As you apparently understand, the competition for those academic realms is immense. For instance, many applicants dream to get into respected UCLA or UC Berkeley. University of California schools have become Alma Maters for millions of graduates, and it nurtures the intellectual potential of a great variety of undergraduates from the entire United States as well as different corners of the globe.

If you genuinely intend to become a student of one of the UC schools, you should be ready to grind away at your enrollment process to become one of those lucky winners of those tiresome academic competitions. Recent statistics show that UCLA accepts 12% of applicants, UC Berkeley admits 17%, UC Irvine goes for 27%, and UC Santa Cruz generously accepts 51% of students. It seems that every new academic year at those exclusive UC campuses is satiated with new demands and challenges.

The most rewarding aspect about the UC application is that you actually have to fill only one, and it becomes your potential enrollment ticket to every University of California school.

We suspect that you have been working on the Common Application by now. Perhaps, you already created your personal statement and completed the Activities section. Then, the remaining part is related to specific essays you may write for several educational establishments. When applying to University of California institutions, you can organize your creative part of the enrollment process, adhering to the following steps:

  1. Start with creating your personal statement for the Common App.
  2. Amalgamate a shortened version of your Common App personal statement into the chosen UC essay.
  3. Compose the required UC essays; after that, go to the UC Activities section to fill it out.
  4. Reorganize the list for UC Activities list to come up with the one for Common App Activities.

Keep in mind that the essays related to your UC application are not merely supplemental compositions. They are as relevant as your personal statement.

The subsequent paragraphs reveal our recommendations regarding planning and producing the essays that form an integral part of your application to the University of California schools.

What is the purpose of the UC essays? Unraveling the meaning behind the UC compositions.

The 2017 year was particularly fruitful for the University of California schools, when they encountered a challenge of handling 200,000 applications from miscellaneous students from the USA and other world countries. It was especially difficult for the admissions committees to call each and every student, while possessing mainly the information about their GPAs and test scores. This was the primary reason why they decided to include more personalized questions into the UC application procedure. While it made the enrollment process trickier, each student got an opportunity to express themselves, demonstrating their abilities, knowledge, inventiveness, and creativity beyond their excellent grades. You should answer those insightful questions in a unique UC essay, which is your chance to be accepted into the university of your dreams.

The UC schools have a special ranking system that evaluates your life in terms of quality and achievements. Since your essays must be based on your honest experience, it must be vivid whether you have been motivated enough to make the most of the chances you obtained, go through essential transformations even after your failures. The committee would like to see how much you are involved in meaningful extracurricular activities that shape your personality. Thus, your essay should be sincere, thought provoking, and eloquent to draw attention of the “masters”. There is an assumption that 30% of successful admissions are interrelated with the UC essays that stood out.

Part II: The UC creates distinct questions to delve into personal insights

You will come across 8 essay prompts, which are called by the UC supervisors “personal insight questions”. Your task is to provide responses to four out of eight questions. Every question is like a small essay that consists of 350 words.

In contrast to the Common App, which is focused on the one inspiring and vivid personal statement (that is comprised of two pages or 650 words) and the Activities section, the UC schools have their alternative application, which requires several brief statements, which should also be distinctive and encouraging.

Some students prefer to reveal an impressive story about their individual experience in a single assignment, as it is easier to disclose it more fully. However, the UC application gives you an opportunity to demonstrate that you are a multi-faceted personality with contrasting but equally important skills. Those insight questions are helpful if you cannot choose the only one priority out of all your experiences. Try not to be intimidated by this task that encourages to disclose different sides of your identity. Consider it a decent challenge to express yourself through several significant perspectives.

One of the UC essay examples on Essaysleader

Let us use Ann’s essay as an example:

It all started when I told my friend Emily, “You do everything possible not to love yourself! You are only losing your huge potential of becoming an attractive, creative, and confident woman.” I did not mean to offend her, as I knew how many talents Emily got: she could sing, play the piano, write marvelous fiction… However, her the-then reality was satiated with strange phobias that were absorbing all her creativity, leading only to inertia. I only wanted to motivate her to look at herself and see how beautiful and witty she is instead of drowning in endless self-doubt. My words turned into a blunder, as Emily looked at me for an instant, expressing all the sadness in the Universe, and… ran away.

I tried to convince my friend to join the dancing club for several months. She always said that she was busy, reading books, or writing poetry, or doing homework. However, one day, when I was going to the dance club on my own, I saw her simply sitting in the park, contemplating flying birds. I stopped by to say, “Hi, I thought you had a complicated assignment. Are you avoiding me?” Emily replied, “I am avoiding the dancing club, as I will never be a good dancer like you.” I was taken aback by her low self-esteem. Yet, somehow, I convinced her to join me at least once. She went with me and tried dancing, but it was obvious how awkward and uncomfortable she felt. My confrontation with the previously mentioned sentence came right after the dance lesson finished. After Emily ran away, I went to her house to apologize. Only then I realized what she truly felt. Emily suffered from social anxiety, so she even could not sing and read her works in front of the audience without trembling. My overconfidence and extroverted nature prevented me from seeing that my friend was not apathetic or lazy – she simply needed decent psychotherapy.

The situation with Emily taught me a valuable lesson. I discovered something that I could not initially feel – compassion. It was selfish trying to motivate my friend by telling her how self-doubting she was. Such sensitive people like Emily need special approaches based on pure empathy. Now I teach kids to dance and never let them feel pressure when they are insecure. I encourage them by saying how unique they are, and it works better than reprehension.

Brief outline of Ann’s essay to discern its major functions

Paragraph I: The starting paragraph contains a hook: it is unraveled when Ann is criticizing her friend. It is beneficial that the author further reveals the qualities of Emily’s personality, so the audience can imagine her better.
Unlike typical compositions where a strong thesis statement divulges focal ideas, this personal essay sample has an alternative sentence that sheds light on the general mood and probable outcomes: “My words turned into a blunder.” It elucidates a lot.

Paragraph II: This brief chapter delves more deeply into the problem, showing Emily’s mental state of mind as well as demonstrating Ann’s personal transformation. She finally comprehends the reasons behind Emily’s behavior, which contributes to the instantly altered perception of the situation. The author admits that she made a mistake by saying those words that had the power to hurt her friend, who suffers from anxiety all the time. One more substantial transformative element here is a sincere apology.
Paragraph III: Ann starts her closing paragraph with an insightful thought: “The situation with Emily taught me a valuable lesson.” She learned to be compassionate. Moreover, Ann acknowledged her selfishness, as her active way of life and extreme optimism turned into her own enemies because she could not notice that there are vulnerable people who need help.

Overall, this paragraph serves such functions:

  1. It resolves the initial conflict and evokes a new level of comprehension in the author;
  2. It demonstrates the influence it made on Ann, how empathetic and caring she became, and even started teaching kids to dance.

Ann’s essay has the potential to catch attention, as it has created a wonderful equilibrium between self-determination and self-reflection. Despite the fact that Ann is an innate leader, she learned to control her “power” to be empathetic instead of arrogant. Such UC essays examples can persuade the committee that students who write such texts would unpretentiously tell about their accomplishments. However, your deeds speak for themselves. You will succeed if you demonstrate reasonable self-examination.

December 24, 2020
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