Ucla Admissions Essays

Note: There is only one application for all the UC schools. Therefore, your responses will be sent to every single University of California school that you apply to. Hence, avoid making essays school-specific (unless you are applying to only one school).

 

To choose which questions to answer, first browse the eight prompts as a list, and sort them into one of three categories: “definites,”“possibilities,” and “avoid at all costs.” With “definites,” after reading the prompt, you immediately know what you will say and how you will say it. With “possibilities,” a few vague ideas swirl in your head, which you think can be sorted out and possibly develop into a great essay. With “avoid at all costs,” you want to have nothing to do with these essays.

 

Afterwards, jot down bullet point ideas for the questions you for sure want to write about. Then, select out of the “possibility” questions that would, in combination with your “definites,” produce the most well-rounded essay profile, which would both highlight your few key strengths as well as reveal your complexities and breadth of character. While doing so, it is important to base your decision on not only your immediate liking for the topic, but also on the available substance (anecdotes). Repeat this process until you are faced with only four questions.

 

This is just one way to approach choosing prompts. Since for some, the process happens organically, do not feel constrained to the method above. Just remember:

 

  1. Do not rush into prompts at first glance. Make sure that you have jotted down potential ideas for all but the ones you want to avoid, and ultimately write about the one with the most substance.
  2. Your answers should be able to highlight what is most important to you.

UCLA is one of the most popular universities in California. In recent years, it has received a record number of applications. If the West Coast calls to you and you like the idea of finding your niche in a large top tier university, UCLA may be the school for you. If you’re still working on your responses to the UC essay prompts, these examples may help. 

One of the most sought-after UC schools, UCLA is a dream school for many Californians. More than 100,000 students applied to UCLA last fall, and the numbers are expected to remain the same for this upcoming application season. For those of you applying this Fall, the regular application filing period is November 1-30. If you’re still working on your UC essays, here are 5 successful examples that might inspire you to write yours: 

ClaireL

UC Los Angeles ‘20

Prompt: Describe the world you come from - for example, your family, community, or school - and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

It was my fault. I had chosen this topic for my math exploration, armed with only the feeblest grasp of actual concept. Music, math, and the harmonic series…I sighed. In the time-honored tradition of all students, I had turned to Google for succor. The words on the screen blurred together hazily. “Pythagoras discovered that a string exactly 1/nth its length produces a frequency n times the original frequency…” It just didn’t make sense: what did a bunch of numbers have to do with musical consonance? Read her full UCLA application essay.

Mbshark

UCLA ‘20

 

Prompt: Describe the world you come from - for example, your family, community, or school - and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

A bright orange glow reflecting on the water, I love watching the sunrise at the beach. I grew up less than ten minutes away from the Atlantic and my early childhood memories include frequent trips to the beach. Although the beach is a stunning sight, the beach is not always pristine. My family and I regularly remove trash from the beach, including commercial fishing and industrial debris, particularly after storms, sometimes in quantities almost too heavy to carry. Unlock his full UCLA profile read his application!

Cdougherty

UCLA ‘18

 

Prompt: Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?

Starting in 6th grade, I spent every summer at Jon Lee’s East Beach volleyball camp. Most kids came and went on a weekly basis, but I just stayed. There was nowhere else I would rather have been, than at East Beach playing volleyball with my friends. I loved it so much that I sought out faster improvement, committing to more formal training with an AVP professional player. View his full successful UCLA profile.

Cotoole

UCLA ‘19

Prompt: Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?

T-shirt. I had never heard of DECA before. Curious, I asked him more about it, and learned that it was “a club for, like marketing and business”, as he called it. Her persuaded me to join and we planned to compete together in the Sports and Entertainment Marketing Team even. Unlock his full UCLA profile read his application!

WyTeav

UCLA ‘21

 

Prompt: What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?  

I can read koalas with turtles and I can eat ice cream with friends in North Korea. This is all possible due to the power of Photoshop. Photoshop is like a straw that allows people’s eyes to drink from my imagination. I can make anything and put it anywhere; from sea monsters in the ocean to winged toasters at my birth. For nearly four years, I have used Photoshop to express myself in an adventurous way, one that offers me wider avenues than music or writing do. I am constantly improving my photoshopping abilities and therefore expanding the limits of my expression. Unlock his full UCLA profile read his application!

Applying to college?

View the app files and essays of accepted students.

LEARN MORE

Are you looking to apply to UC Schools? or just starting to build out your college list? Make sure to search through profiles of students accepted to see essays, stats, and advice. See how they got in, and how you can too!

About The Author

Frances Wong

Frances was born in Hong Kong and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. She loves super sad drama television, cooking, and reading. Her favorite person on Earth isn’t actually a member of the AdmitSee team - it’s her dog Cooper.




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