UCLA's admissions policies and practices were developed to scrupulously adhere to state law and University of California regulations. The campus remains committed to the highest ethical standards and to openness and transparency in establishing and maintaining admissions policies in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
The admissions process has many safeguards to ensure fairness to all applicants and compliance with state law. For example, approximately 55,000 applications are distributed randomly to more than 160 trained readers, and there is no way for a reader to know who else is reviewing the same applications. Two trained readers score each application, and if one score is inconsistent with another, the application is reviewed by a senior reader.
Nevertheless, UCLA several weeks ago initiated a comprehensive study to analyze the effect of the holistic review admissions process and ensure its continued consistency with state law. Funding has already been approved and a researcher selected to conduct the study. To ensure fairness, the review is being conducted by an independent researcher for the Academic Senate's admissions policy–setting body. The concerns expressed by Professor Timothy Groseclose will be addressed in the study.
UCLA stringently follows state and federal law and university policy protecting the privacy of student applicants and governing the release of personally identifiable information. UCLA's admissions team has offered to work with Professor Groseclose to provide data meaningful for use in his own analysis — within the constraints of privacy laws but going well beyond what would be required by the California Public Records Act. It is disappointing that Professor Groseclose has decided not to work with staff to arrive at a solution.
Background on the holistic review admissions process
Beginning with the fall 2007 freshman class, the UCLA faculty adopted the "holistic" process — which has been in use at UC Berkeley for many years and also is used at Ivy League schools and at most highly selective institutions — in which applicants are assessed in terms of the full range of their academic and personal achievements, viewed in the context of the opportunities and challenges each has faced.
The UCLA Academic Senate made the change because the faculty believed a more individualized and qualitative assessment of each applicant's entire application would be fair and would better achieve the UC Regents' goal of comprehensive review.