The Complete Tutorial to UC Application

This article written, I'm now your best friend. Here is a complete tutorial on filling out the UC Application, with pictures!

All the pictures can be enlarged by clicking.

Copyleft Notice: This article is written solely to provide information to prospective applicants. Anyone may copy the contents IN ENTIRETY with NO modifications as long as the source is cited, with a URL pointing to this site.

First Things First

Click the UC Application link on top of this page to jump right to the UC Online Application system. If you have not missed the deadline, you should see this screen...

The Login Page

I suppose you have not yet started on this application. Click the "New Account" button on the right, and fill in just a few basic boxes that you won't need help with. (Name, email, password, etc.) You've done this even with facebook.

Getting Started

Still in that screen, type in the E-mail address and password you used in the registration. You shoud then see a page with a header bar like this:

Navigation Bar

Along this bar, you may click on any part of the application and jump to that step directly. You do not have to fill in the first section to go to the second. On the right, you will be able to jump into sections within each step of the application. For example, in the "start" part you will see this on the right:
Sub-sections in the "start" step

Whenever You Need a Break

The UC application system is designed to make things work continuously without hurrying you. If you would like to stop and continue later, simply click the "Sign Out" link on the Top Right corner, and your information will be saved. Log in later and you will be able to continue.

Filling the basics

As of this year's seniors, you may want to do the very first page like this:

First two questions of the application

Click "Next" when you are done. You will now be asked for basic information, such as your name, gender, birthdate, SSN, phone, address, etc etc. Also, you will be asked if you live in California. You should answer the question based on this criteria:
  • If you were born in California, choose the first one.
  • If you were born in another state, or if you have a green card, choose the second selection and type in the date you moved (or acquired your green card).
  • If you currently do not have a passport with a California address, or if you still are not a US citizen/resident (even if you lived here for that many years), choose you're not in California.

Do I live in California?

The Tough Work Starts Here

The very first challenging part is selecting your desired UC campus and majors. Note that you can apply to as much campuses as you want, but for each you have to choose a major. You may choose the same majors for different campuses, but some may not be available in specific campuses.

Let's take a look at all the campuses first:

Campuses of the UC System

After you click "Next", you will be able to choose a major for each campus. Let's take UCLA as an example:
Choosing majors for UCLA

There are five schools in UCLA. You first have to decide which school you are going to. You can choose only TWO majors throughout ALL five schools. Click on one of the schools to see the courses provided. If you have no idea, choose "Undeclared" under one of the schools. You still have to choose a school even if you are undecided on majors.

From now on, in the end of every step of the application, you will be presented a Review page. Here you have a complete list of information you provided. Double check that everything is correct, and click Next.

The Scholarship Section

This section, for international students, is pretty much pointless. I'm not being mean, but the chances of getting a few bucks out of the school is minimal. However, it is worth the trial. Simply open up each section, and check ALL that applies to you. Remember: be honest. Don't check anything random.

If you're a CA resident, this step is somewhat useful. Still, check all that apply. Don't check any that does not apply.

GOTV - Get Out The Values

You and Your Family

The next step concerns background information of YOU and your FAMILY. If you have done the Common App, you can easily fill this part. However, it is still handy to have a list of information with you just in case. For example, your parents' employers' information and their degrees. Also, ask your parents about the annual (yearly) income of your family. This is vital in many college applications as it is a decisive information regarding scholarships (and probably admittance if you're not Californian.)

Academic History

Here is the easiest and the most annoying part. Make sure you have a copy of unofficial transcript with you. (Official will do too, but you've wasted a few more dollars.)

7th and 8th Grade Courses

Well, they want all the UC-approved courses you took during these two years. More specifically, High School courses. If you were still in another country at this time, don't bother as they are not UC-certified courses. If you were in another state, be sure to check the list of courses before filling in.

High School Courses

The FUN part. Choose Southlands Christian School (#053681-2) as your high school, and click "ADD".

Adding a High School

Repeat the same steps for other high schools you've been to. If your school does not appear in here (especially most schools in other countries), type it in manually. Note that you are GRADUATING from our school, so choose so!

You will be then directed to the page where you enter Grades.

Choosing Courses and Entering Grades

Click a category to see the courses within it. Check all you've taken within that year. You'll be asked to enter grades for another year on the next page. Note that UC does not need your Bible class grade, nor do they count plus or minus. This means you need to choose A for A-, and B for B+.

If you took one class (say AP US History) and you decided to quit (and transferred to Regular US History), you need to check both classes, and choose WI (withdrew) for the semester you did not finish. Or, if you skipped too much of school, choose IN (incomplete). If you took Computer or one of the Government classes, you need to make sure to choose NO for the other semester.

When You Get to 12th Grade Courses...

It's now semester 1 and you need to choose IP (In Progress) to tell them that you do not yet have a semester grade. If you are taking Government of AP Government class, remember to choose NO for the second semester, and NO for 1st semester Econ. All other classes should be (automatically) filled PL (planned to take) during second semester.

Click Next,
and put in any courses you took outside of regular school.

All the ID's and Numbers

On the "other academic history" page, you will be asked of your CA SSID and your ELC ID.

(This is where your ID's go)

As a Southlands student, you do NOT have a CA SSID. This only applies to students of California Public Schools. You must leave this box blank.
If you were entered for the ELC program and received a letter with your ELC admittance and ID, you need to enter it in that box. This year there are only three students who have this ID, so you are likely to be leaving this blank too.

Then, Review and Continue.

You could be tired now. Go get some drinks and maybe a small snack.

Activities and Awards

This section is designed for you to show your shining points. Although there are many parts, they are essentially the same thing (the only difference is the kind of things you are putting in).

UC Care about Community Service. Did you do it?

Although the above form is for Volunteering Experience, all other parts use the same format. The only difference is the wording. Simply put in whatever you did, check the grade(s) you were in it, the time you did it, and explain simply. You only have 160 letters. And the worse thing is, they won't tell you if you wrote too much. They'll just go ahead and throw away the extra part.

Likely or not, you may have more than five volunteering activities, or more than five extracurricular activities. List the ones you think is the most important/significant. If you have been in Fall Theatre, (I love Get Smart! High Five for Maxwell Smart XD), and you have been in a class event, probably the Theatre thing is more important to you.

The Pain in the Head

Test Scores. They just call it like this straight ahead. Well, it makes the section easy.

SAT and ACT: The Basic Tests

College Entrance Tests

Things are as easy as it says: put in the BEST score you got, and the DATE you took that test. If you are still testing in the future, enter the date for it. (No Later than December Please!)

Note: Even if you enter scores here, you need to ask either Collegeboard or ACT to send official scores to EACH campus you chose.

The Subject Tests

UC want at least 2 subject tests from you, preferably from different areas of study. (For example, Math and History will work nice, but don't choose Biology and Physics) However, if you took more than 2 tests, go ahead and list all of them. They won't hurt you. (Unless you took all the science tests.)

Note: UC no longer accept Math Level 1.

Subject Tests show that you are weak in areas that you didn't take a test on.

For each subject, choose the date you took the test, and the test that you took. Enter your BEST score for that test. Then, if you are really going to take the same subject test again, enter a date for that too.

Repeat this process for all subject tests you've taken.

The AP Exams

If you've taken an AP Class in this school and took AP Exams, then fill in this page. Simply enter the tests you've already taken, choose the date (We always take AP's in May), and enter your score. Add all of the ones you've taken.

Then, choose May 2011 and enter all the AP classes you're taking right now. Choose "I have not received my score yet" so they know you're going to take the test.

Taking hard classes helps!

The IB Exams

Most students in our school are not likely to have taken IB Exams. If you did, simply do it in the way you did the AP tests.

For International Students, your TOEFL or IELTS, and your Secondary Language Credit

By this time you should have already taken the TOEFL or IELTS test. If not, arrange to take one THIS WEEKEND. You will need your score for the college even to consider you for admission.

In this part, you may only choose either the TOEFL (paper), TOEFL iBT, or IELTS test. If you've taken both TOEFL and IELTS, choose the one you think that looks better.

Another attention I-20 students should pay is that you may clear your 2-year secondary language credits by taking the SAT Subject Test of that language. Note that anyone (including US Citizens) can take the test and have their credits cleared by UC, but our school will NOT grant credits unless you are international. This means
  • if you are a US Citizen and plans to clear your requirements by taking the test:
    • Our school will not give you credits on it, meaning it won't show up on your transcript.
    • Thus, you can use that to clear ONLY the UC requirements.
  • if you are a non-resident (international student) you can take the SAT Subject Test in your first language, and
    • get two years' credits on our school transcript (for colleges other than UC)
    • get two years' credits on UC Application
    • On the UC App: You do not need to add a separate class on your schedule (i.e. Chinese 10th grade) to show you got credit. Instead, report your SAT Subject Test scores.
    • On other applications: Depending on school, they may give you credit by test or require you to take the class.If credits are not given by test, enter the language as a class on your transcript.

Personal Statement

If you're in Mr.Brover's English class, you should have a few guidelines for these essays.
Do Not Write Them Straight Into The Application.

This application is designed that if you stay on one page for more than 30 minutes, your responses will be lost.
So type them in Notepad. Don't use Word or anything alike. Use Notepad.

You are going to submit only the letters, so using a nice word processing program is no point. In addition, sometimes they produce weird symbols when you copy and paste them into a website. Only Use Notepad. No Substitutions.

UC Essay Prompts

After you're sure about your essays, copy and paste them into the appropirate boxes on these webpages. A word count will be displayed underneath.

Word Counter
Did you see that notice? The two essays may contain no more than 1000 words in total. And they recommend no less than 250 words each. This means you can either write 300 and 700, or 500+500, or 600+400, or even 750-250, but don't do 800-200.

The Excitement

The Next Step Is Called "SUBMIT". Before this, check that you've completed EVERYTHING, and that all information are CORRECT.

Then, follow the simple process of choosing your race, your hometown, and electronically "signing" your application.


I don't know why there's a separate section for paying. Well, it's just the same as if you buy stuff on


You're Done!

Enjoy the rest of your high school life. With UC applied, you now have more time to spend around the school and possibly for activities. Or, apply to other schools.