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From Chancellor Robert Berdahl

An education at Berkeley has long been synonymous with prestige, quality and value. One result of this reputation is that freshman admission to our campus has become increasingly competitive. This year for the fourth consecutive year, we have received a record number of applications – nearly 30,000. Regrettably there are a far greater number of exceptional students seeking admission than we can hope to accommodate. We can only offer admission to approximately 8,250 high school seniors with the goal of enrolling a fall entering class of 3,500 students.

This year the campus has initiated a new admissions policy that will provide the most thorough, individual assessment of any entering class in our history. This new policy was developed by an Academic Senate committee of faculty, students and admissions officers that was chaired by Associate Professor of English Jenny Franchot.

In evaluating this year’s applications, we will use no formulas or fixed weights. Our goal is to select applicants through a process that takes into account a broad range of academic factors. We will also take into consideration achievement and leadership in non-academic areas. In all cases evaluators will consider merit and achievement in the context of opportunities and obstacles that an applicant has faced and the ways in which he or she has responded.

This new process is being introduced as we implement for the first time in undergraduate admissions Regents’ Resolution SP-1 and the voter-approved Proposition 209, which eliminated the use of race, ethnicity and gender as considerations for admissions.

Finally, I wish to express my gratitude for all who have worked so hard and with such care to make this new policy a reality. Faculty members have given freely of their time and considerable expertise. Our admissions professionals and their staffs have undertaken this monumental challenge with great resolve and dedication.

As you read through this special section you will learn a great deal more about the new admissions process. I am sure you will be impressed, as I was, with the thought and insight that has gone into shaping and implementing this new process.

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