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University of Texas at Austin

Can a Dear Cal letter get you into Berkeley?

Can a Dear Cal letter get you into Berkeley?

High school seniors vying for acceptance at UC Berkeley face daunting odds. Until about 50 years ago, Cal admitted any applicant with a B average in college-prep classes. As recently as 1985, the acceptance rate was above 50%. With a record 79,000 applicants in 2014, Berkeley now admits only 17%, placing it in a near-tie with UCLA for the title of most selective public university in the country. How can Berkeley possibly choose wisely among all the overqualified teenagers eager to enroll? With little fanfare, Cal recently decided to give its overburdened admissions office yet more information to consider. When application forms become available Aug. 1, they'll look a little different:...