Starting this year, applications for undergraduate admission to the University of California will be available Aug. 1, two full months earlier than in previous years, the university announced April 11.
This change was made partly in response to feedback from college counselors and academic partners throughout the country saying college applicants would appreciate more time to apply to the university, said UC spokesperson Shelly Meron.
The new date better aligns with the undergraduate application processes of other selective research universities in the country, according to Meron. In fact, many competitive schools such as Stanford University and the University of Michigan already release their undergraduate applications Aug. 1.
Suzie Park, a high school senior at a boarding school in Santa Barbara County who has been admitted to UC Berkeley, said if the application process for the UC system had coincided with the rest of the schools she applied to during the first trimester of senior year, she would have invested more time into it.
“The UC doesn’t use the common app and is different from most applications, like requiring students to self-report their grades,” Park said, who has not yet committed to Berkeley. “It was difficult to figure (the UC application) out in the midst of all the other ones I had already started.”
The Common Application, the most widely used undergraduate application with more than 500 member universities worldwide, opens for registration Aug. 1 every year.
Aside from the earlier application opening date, other aspects of the process will remain unchanged. Applicants will still need to submit all the required paperwork to the university between Nov. 1 and 30, meaning they will have two extra months to work on their applications.
According to Meron, the new opening date does not impact any admission decisions for those who submit their applications early in the submission period.
Gabrielle Glancy, who coaches college applicants on essay-writing in the Bay Area, does not think the new date will make a big difference in the application process. Because the personal statement prompts, which have not changed significantly over the last few years, are available on the UC admissions website prior to the application opening date, students have been able to start on the most rigorous section of the application before Nov. 1, according to Glancy.
“If students finish the essay prompts before the application opens, then all they have left to fill out is their basic information,” Glancy said.
Although there is no way to predict the future pool of applicants, this new change could lead to more undergraduate applications, Meron said.
“We understand how hectic fall is for all students,” Meron said. “Our hope is that the earlier date would be helpful and make the application process less stressful for our applicants.”