Regents Policy 2110: Policy on Augmented Review in Undergraduate Admissions

Approved July 13, 2017, Amended July 21, 2022

Augmented Review

Campuses may request an additional review for a select pool of applicants who fall in the margins for admission, but whose initial application yields an incomplete picture of their qualifications, or presents extraordinary circumstances that invite further comment. Applicants, for example, might demonstrate special talents, potential, or accomplishments in specific areas that promise to contribute to the educational environment of the campus, but may require further explication. Or, the information provided on an application may fail to adequately explain the impact of what appear to be major disadvantages that the applicant has encountered.

The Academic Senate may determine a range of potential selection criteria for Augmented Review, consistent with the Guiding Principles for Comprehensive Review the faculty have articulated for undergraduate admissions. Applicants referred for the Augmented Review process must demonstrate levels of academic preparation and personal qualities that indicate a reasonable chance for academic success given the available support services on the admitting campus.

Admissions readers and officers should use their professional judgment to identify potential candidates for Augmented Review during the initial review process. They should also select from among the candidates a pool of applicants from whom supplemental information items can be solicited to better inform an admissions decision. The Augmented Review pool should be limited in size to no more than 15 percent of all applicants.

Candidates are invited to submit one or more of the following supplemental information items:

  1. A questionnaire that requires paragraph length narrative responses and that allows Augmented Review candidates to provide additional details concerning their special talents and accomplishments, extraordinary circumstances, and school and home environment.
  2. Seventh-semester high school grades, or equivalent most recent grades.
  3. Up to two letters of recommendation, or other input from third parties, such as a teacher, counselor, coach, program coordinator, or anyone familiar with the candidate’s academic background and extracurricular skills/talents. Letters of recommendation should focus on both cognitive and psycho-social abilities of candidates.
Letters of recommendation can be requested only for applicants selected for augmented review, and applicants considered for admission by exception, and/or applicants given a special review.
The criteria for referring an applicant for Augmented Review include at least one of the following:
  1. Evidence of focus on an area of special talent which may have limited a student’s time to participate in a broader range of activities.
  2. Evidence of character traits that imply a strong likelihood of making a significant contribution to campus life.
  3. Evidence of significant academic achievement or the potential for academic achievement at the University in spite of extraordinary or compound disadvantage or learning difference, or physical disability or other unusual circumstances.
  4. Evidence of significant improvement in the academic record accompanied by one or both of the following: (1) reasons for the initial poor performance; and (2) sustained and in-depth participation in educational outreach programs, which demonstrate the applicant’s commitment to succeed academically within a challenging environment.
  5. Evidence of relative lack of access to, counseling about, or support to take college preparatory, honors, Advanced Placement (AP), or International Baccalaureate (IB) classes.

While the referral criteria for Augmented Review outlined above aim to cover likely circumstances that admissions readers and officers might encounter, they may not capture every possible applicant experience that might warrant an additional review. It is therefore imperative that admissions readers and officers use their professional judgement in these circumstances.

Students applying to a major, school, or college that already has a long-standing supplemental application requirement, may be required to submit a letter of recommendation, in addition to the general application for undergraduate admission. Such supplemental applications have also included questionnaires, transcripts, narrative statements, interviews, auditions, and/or portfolios, but only very rarely require letters of recommendations. Such programs typically focus on the creative arts, performance arts, and nursing.

Subject to approval by the Board, the Academic Senate determines the conditions for admission. The President of the University, through the systemwide Provost, implements admission policy.

This policy is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the University of California or its Board of Regents, individual Regents, officers, employees, or agents.

Guidelines for Implementation of University Policy on Undergraduate Admissions

Changes to procedures and related documents do not require Regents approval, and inclusion or amendment of references to these documents can be implemented administratively by the Office of the Secretary and Chief of Staff upon request by the unit responsible for the linked documents.

Related Resources

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