Essay Scoop: How to Answer UCLA Essays

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Julia de Raadt
Julia de Raadt

Julia has dedicated much of her career to education. Since commencing with Empowerly, Julia has looked after the research team which handles student questions on different topics about college admission.

The University of California Los Angeles is a competitive school, and for good reason. Still, the admissions office looks for more than just straight-A students. Rather, UCLA wants college students with rich experiences and diverse perspectives to compose the incoming classes. Below is some helpful advice on responding to the UCLA essays!

UCLA is the second oldest University of California campus. This renowned university offers 337 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines, of which 125 are undergraduate.

Since UCLA is incorporated into the broader UC system, we’ll review just 2 prompts here today. For further reading, this write-up for UC Berkeley provides helpful content and further reading on how to approach these essays with a strategy in mind. You can find more insight to the UC system in this exclusive admissions officer interview, too. If you still have specific questions about your essay drafts, reach out! Empowerly would love to meet you.


UCLA Essays

Describe the world you come from — for example, your family, community or school — and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

Every applicant has lived through unique experiences in their life and sometimes these moments leave a lasting imprint. Focus on a moment or two or a trend between experiences that have contributed to your goals for the future. Keep in mind that the message can complement the next prompt by explaining the motivations behind your passions. This question requires reflection of the past that serves as the rationale for your aspirations.

Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud, and how does it relate to the person you are?

This is a great place to connect your goals for the future to a specific moment or an approach you have. Either way, the reader will need to see an explanation that connects your career/life goals to your observations. What moments directly contributed to your vision and what problems do you hope to address? 

There you have it. Now that you have an introduction into the UC school essays and where to find more information, you’re on a strong start. Don’t lose that momentum!

Questions? Let us know!