Thousands of students will log on to their computers at 4 p.m. today to find out if they got into UC Berkeley. Most will be disappointed – even many with straight A's and enviable test scores.
Berkeley and the University of California system as a whole received a record number of freshmen applications this year. Last year, Berkeley rejected three-quarters of the students who applied. Those who were admitted had an average grade-point average of 4.19.
With so many high performers to choose from, how does Cal decide who gets accepted?
Very carefully. And with a lot of work.
Berkeley calls its admissions process "holistic review." That means a person – not a computer – read each one of the 53,000 undergraduate applications that came in this year. And it means the university considers more than just grades and test scores when scoring applications.
All of this is a fancy way of saying they need other ways to let in underprepared students (usually minorities) in violation of Proposition 209.