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The University of California is within reach

Every student who works hard and dreams big has what it takes to succeed at the best public university in the world. Here’s what you’ll need to get started.

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University of California


Get ready for greatness

Start with the basics.

To get ready for UC, students should follow a few steps that will help them prepare for college-level classes.

High school students who will apply as freshmen need to complete a series of 15 classes approved by UC (11 of those by senior year), take the ACT or SAT test, and earn a 3.0 GPA.

UC also has programs to help students stay on track. Our Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP) works with students in more than 150 schools — and even if your school isn't one of them, their guides and workbooks are great resources.

What do we look for?

Of course, earning good grades and taking challenging courses strengthen any UC application.

But beyond grades and test scores, we want to see well-rounded students who have made the most of their opportunities.

Here's what that means to us: Students should pursue their passions and explore ways to be leaders at school or in their communities. We want to know that they'll thrive at UC and contribute to our amazing community.


Dream bigger at UC

Thinking about transfer?

For many students who want to stay close to home or save money, community college can be a good way to get ready for a UC degree.

Many classes students would need for their undergraduate degrees are offered at California community colleges — including courses that can count toward their majors.

And for students who are ready to make the transition to UC, our doors are open.

We give California community college students first priority over other transfer applicants, and many campuses offer guaranteed admission for well-prepared transfer students.

In fact, nearly a third of UC students start at community college before graduating from a UC campus.

Financial Aid

You can afford UC

We're here to help.

Every qualified student who dreams big and works hard should be able to thrive at UC. That's why we have one of the strongest and most generous financial aid programs in the country.

In fact, more than two-thirds of UC undergraduates receive grants and scholarships (money that doesn't have to be paid back). And half of our undergraduate students pay no tuition at all.

Regardless of your income, UC will help you find a way to afford your education.

For California residents whose families earn less than $80,000, our Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan covers systemwide tuition and fees. Other aid can help pay for living expenses, like food and housing.

Even if your family earns more than that, you have options. The Middle Class Scholarship Program will offer help for many students whose families make up to $150,000, and low-interest education loans can make borrowing manageable.


Nine campuses, one application

Ready, set, apply!

Our nine undergraduate campuses make up the best public university system in the world.

They offer an incredible range of experiences, academic programs and opportunities. We recommend keeping an open mind and applying to multiple campuses — students can increase their chances of getting into UC, and they may be surprised by which campuses turn out to be a good fit.

And don't worry about the costs. For students who qualify, we waive application fees for up to four campuses (that saves $280!).

All undergraduate campuses use the same online application, so students can enter all their information in one place.

The application opens on August 1, giving students plenty of time to enter grades and coursework, write personal statements and make sure everything's ready before submitting between November 1 and 30.