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Terminales: UC Berkeley Information

For terminale students who have applied to University of California Berkeley: Please note that the institution may email you to invite you to provide recommendation letters.

The UC institutions base their decisions primarily on the information students self-report in their application. The UC policy is that students and schools must not send any documents unless and until UC requests them. Berkeley just started soliciting recommendation letters last year. Berkeley does not work with Naviance, and Berkeley will not accept documents from us in the same way that we usually send items to your other institutions. If you're requested to submit recommendation letters, you'll need to ask your teachers to go through the UC website using the instructions Berkeley provides to you.

The takeaway is that recommendation letters are not required, but if you are invited to submit letters then it would be in your best interest to do so. Please see the below communications for more information, and let me know if you have any questions.

Sample email you MAY receive from Berkeley
Thank you for applying to UC Berkeley.  After initial review of your application we would like to invite you to submit letters of recommendation to add to your admission application.

Here are a few points to consider:

  • This is optional and not required.  If you decide not to submit letters of recommendation as part of your application, we will continue to evaluate your file with the information you provided in your UC Application.
  • You have the option of submitting up to two letters of recommendation.  One letter must be from an academic teacher.
  • The deadline for your recommenders to electronically submit their letters of recommendation to UC Berkeley is January 15, 2017.
  • Important tip: To be certain that your recommenders have enough time to respond, initiate the request in the next five days. Visit our website for tips on how to ask teachers and counselors to support you with a letter of recommendation.

Please note that UC Berkeley is not part of the Naviance system; please ensure that your recommenders submit your UC Berkeley letters through Berkeley's online recommendation system. To enter your recommenders information and request letters, please visit the Recommendation Request page.

Information from Berkeley about recommendation letters
As you may know, UC Berkeley is again requesting letters of recommendation from some, but not all, freshmen applicants. Like last year, we are making a letter request when our application readers would like to see additional information. Three important distinctions remain: 1) the letter is optional, 2) students may only submit two letters each, and 3) while the student can choose the letter writer, Berkeley faculty policy prefers that one letter come from a teacher or academic contact.  

Results from last year’s letter process are below. Every year’s applicants are unique so these numbers may be used as a point of reference, but shouldn't be used to predict outcomes for the 2016-17 pool.  
In the 2015-16 application cycle, UC Berkeley:

- requested letters from 31,842 applicants, 38% of the total freshman applicant pool,
- observed 27,092 applicants (of the 31,842) requesting letters from recommenders; 85% of those offered the opportunity,
- received and reviewed 48,953 letters from 26,603 students, representing a response rate of 93% (of the 27,092).


- admitted over 4,800 students without the need for a letter or additional information in the form of a letter of recommendation,
- admitted almost 8,800 students who were offered the opportunity to submit a letter and, as a result, submitted one or two letters,
- admitted 800 students who were offered the opportunity to submit a letter, but chose not to send the optional letter.

The deadline for letter submission is January 15th. Letter requests will be issued daily as we continue to read applications, but our final requests will be delivered to students on December 16th.

Posted by on Thursday December, 1, 2016 at 12:13PM


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