University News

FAQ on UCLA admissions and the U.S. Department of Justice complaint

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As a public institution of higher learning, UCLA is absolutely committed to admission policies that reward hardworking students with admission based solely on the merit of their achievements, and regardless of economic background, social standing or family influence. Equity, diversity and inclusion form the bedrock of our identity and purpose. The allegations in the U.S. Department of Justice complaint strike at the very heart of our core values and violate UCLA policies and procedures that ensure fairness and transparency in our admission process. UCLA Chancellor Gene Block and University of California President Janet Napolitano have issued statements on this matter and have launched internal reviews of the issues set forth in the Justice Department’s complaint.

This page provides responses to frequently asked questions about these issues. It will be updated when new information becomes available.

What has UCLA done in response to the Justice Department complaint?
UCLA’s men’s soccer head coach, Jorge Salcedo, named in the indictment for allegedly accepting bribes and passing along falsified information, was placed on leave. He resigned on March 21. Laura Janke, who was also indicted based on conduct not involving her work at UCLA, and who works at a secondary school affiliated with UCLA, is currently on leave. Both UCLA and the University of California Office of the President have launched internal reviews to ensure that admission procedures are fair, inclusive and transparent at UCLA and throughout the UC system.

How many students were accepted to UCLA as part of the alleged scheme described by the Justice Department?
The indictment alleges that Jorge Salcedo improperly facilitated the admission of two people as student-athletes. If UCLA discovers that any prospective, admitted or enrolled student has misrepresented any aspect of his or her application, or that information about any applicant has been withheld, UCLA may take immediate action, up to and including cancelling their admission.

We take the integrity of our admission process and the authenticity of applicants’ data very seriously. All students who apply to a University of California campus must sign a statement that certifies the validity and accuracy of all information related to their application. The University of California summarizes this requirement in UC’s Statement of Application Integrity (PDF).

In addition to efforts we undertake at UCLA to ensure the accuracy of admission data, the University of California randomly selects applicants during the admission cycle and requires that they validate information in their UC application.

How do you know that the students you admit didn’t commit fraud on the SAT/ACT?
Standardized test scores are received by the campus directly from the testing agencies (the College Board and the ACT). Each testing agency has security protocols in place, and if scores or the administration of an exam are called into question, those scores are cancelled by the testing agency before being sent to the university. If either testing agency makes us aware that a particular score has been invalidated, the university will take immediate action, up to and including cancellation of admission.

Can donations to UCLA influence admissions decisions?
No. As a public institution, UCLA and all other campuses in the University of California system admit students solely based on the merits of their achievements. UCLA does not consider parents’ or relatives’ history of donations to the university in the admission process.

What is UCLA’s admission process for students and student-athletes?
UCLA conducts a holistic review of each applicant. For each applicant, selection is based on a comprehensive review that considers a wide range of academic and non-academic achievements, in the context of the opportunities available to them and their demonstrated capacity to contribute to the intellectual life at UCLA. 

Student-athletes and other students with special talents are reviewed by a similarly rigorous process that takes into consideration the strength of their academic record, as well as their athletic ability or achievements in the visual and performing arts. In the case of recruited student-athletes, they are admitted only if the Student-Athlete Admissions Committee believes that they will succeed academically and graduate from UCLA.

Student-athlete admission decisions are made by the Student-Athlete Admission Committee, which is composed of UCLA faculty from various disciplines across campus, and admission officials. Athletic administrators present students to the committee for consideration but are not voting members of the committee.

Is UCLA considering changes to its admission process, especially for student-athletes?
Both UCLA and the University of California Office of the President have launched internal reviews of our policies and practices in light of the Department of Justice’s indictments to ensure that they align with UCLA’s and UC’s goals of admitting students based on a holistic assessment of their merit, and preserving the integrity of the admission process.

Does UCLA accept “legacy admissions”?
No. There are no “legacy admissions” at UCLA — or at any of the other University of California campuses. The UC application does not ask applicants where their parents or family members graduated from college. Nor are the alma maters of an applicant’s parents or family members considered in the admission process.

What steps is UCLA taking to ensure this does not happen again?
The DOJ indictment asserts that the people accused of these crimes worked to conceal their actions from UCLA and the other universities. We have been cooperating fully with federal authorities and will continue to do so as the case moves forward. We are also performing a detailed internal review to ensure that proper controls are in place.

Will the DOJ investigation or UCLA’s internal review delay the admission notices that applicants for fall 2019 are expecting to receive?
No. UCLA’s admission notices for fall 2019 will be distributed on their regularly scheduled date.

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