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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

More Light on UC Admissions Process

October 18, 2003

Re "Numbers Aren't Everything," editorial, Oct. 13: Having put two sons into the University of California system in the last three years, I can tell you a hard and true fact. You do not get accepted to UC Berkeley with an SAT score under 1,000. In fact, you do not get into UC Berkeley with a score under 1,300.

Under a fair and equal evaluation, it just does not happen. There are top high school students being rejected at Berkeley by the thousands. Top students! The fact that 381 students were accepted with below-average SAT scores is cause for an investigation in which more than a few heads should roll.

Fred Hinckley

Palmdale

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As a high school counselor and reader for the UCLA Office of Admissions, I can reassure Douglas Campbell (letter, Oct. 11) that ethnicity does not have any weight in the admissions process. Though the UC application does have an optional ethnicity check box, this section is "blackened out" when admissions readers are evaluating applications.

UCLA offers a comprehensive review of each application that is read by trained readers. It is one of the fairest processes that I have seen so far, which takes into consideration not only academic achievements but life achievements, school and community involvement and leadership. Thank goodness that SAT test scores are not the only criterion in admitting students to colleges. After all, a 3 1/2-hour test does not predict how well a student performs academically over a four-year period of time at a university.

Jacqueline Borja

Counselor, Gabrielino High School, San Gabriel

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