Presentation gives insight into UC admissions process

Darlene S. Hunter, Deputy Director of UC Davis Undergraduate Admissions, gives tips on writing personal statements on Oct. 4.
By Isabelle Chen,
HUB Staff Writer–


Davis High seniors and their parents gathered in the Independent Performing Arts Building on Oct. 4 for a closer look at how the University of California system admits its applicants.

“How many of you students are sort of stressed about the application process?” asked Darlene Hunter, Deputy Director of Undergraduate Admissions at UC Davis. Hunter smiled as she saw the tentatively raised hands, and proceeded to explain the purpose of the presentation: to try to diffuse some of the stress that accompanies choosing a college, filling out applications, taking standardized tests, and writing a personal statement.

Hunter began by providing statistics and basic information about applying to the UC system: out of ten UC campuses, nine are available to freshmen. Over the past year, 70 percent of UC Davis students have received some type of financial aid. A Fall 2012 trend shows that UC freshman admissions have increased 10.8 percent since the previous year.

As the presentation continued, Hunter provided smaller—but equally important—details about the admissions process, such as:

  • SAT Subject Tests are not required, but students should look ahead to their majors—some require certain exams.
  • When filling out the application, students should not just list their activities, but also note what they gained from the experience.
  • Students should not wait until the last minute to turn in their application. Generally, over 80 percent of applicants wait until the final four days to submit it, which causes stress on the UC system.
  • Students should fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) in January, even if they do not think they need financial aid.
  • According to Hunter, “Senior year is critical!”

These finer points of Hunter’s presentation served to add to her overall message to students and parents: “What you have to do is have a plan.”

Senior Mandy Zheng decided to attend the UC information session in order to gain “some insider information on how they’re evaluating our apps.” Among Zheng’s wide array of universities are UC Davis and UC Berkeley.

“Davis is close, and really cool,” Zheng said. “It feels comfortable!”

Those who have questions about the UC admissions process can contact Hunter at Students and their families are also invited to attend the UC Davis Preivew Day on Oct. 20 from 8:30 to 3:30, to determine whether a UC campus is the right fit.


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