Admissions for the 2020-2021 applicant cycle have come to an end and prospective students have said they are looking forward to joining the campus in the fall
May 1 was the UC Davis’ Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) deadline for fall 2021. Statistics show that UC Davis received 87,118 applications, which is roughly a 10,000 applicant increase from 2020.
The undergraduate admissions process for incoming students was impacted by COVID-19. In light of this, UC Davis applied changes to the past year’s cycle to new students, such as temporarily suspending letter grade requirements for A-G credits and the cap on pass credits.
Applicants encountered their own challenges and solutions through the second year of impacted admissions.
“I wasn’t able to be in touch with my counselors and be able to have a talk with them in person so that they could help me,” said Rebeca Moreno, a prospective clinical nutrition major from Sacramento, CA via Instagram Direct Message. “I also wasn’t able to ask Cal-SOAP helpers in-person or have that one-on-one talk with them about college.”
Moreno recounted how she overcame obstacles in the admissions process.
“I got a lot of help from a friend who went through the UC application last year,” Moreno said via Instagram Direct Message. “She always answered any questions I had regarding certain parts of the application as well as giving me advice on how to manage through it.”
Despite the challenges, new students feel excited for UC Davis’ decision to have full in-person classes for fall 2021.
“I am really excited about full on-campus classes this year,” said Liam Glenn, a prospective computer science major from Carlsbad, California, via Instagram Direct Message. “The past year of distance learning has been really tough, and I am looking forward to being in class again. I also think that it will be pretty safe with the vaccine requirements so I feel comfortable about it.”
An important step to welcoming new students is orientation. Catrina Wagner, the director of New Student Academic Services, has managed orientation since 2009 and has many events planned with important goals in mind.
“[One goal is] creating an experience that gets students looking forward to their first year in college and excited to be back to some ‘normalcy’ after enduring the pandemic,” Wagner said via email. “All new students have had an extremely challenging year and a half, often in isolation. It’s important we provide social interaction and engagement with peers, activities that help them navigate the physical campus and create opportunities to connect with resources, faculty and advisors.”
Orientation is an important time to make sure a student’s well-being is accounted for as well, according to Wagner.
“It’s important that we provide spaces where students can talk about what’s happening with racism and violence, the political and global climate and introduce them to conversations about what the Principles of Community look like in action,” Wagner said. “My advice is to take advantage of the opportunities, resources and people that will be provided during orientation and throughout their time at UC Davis. Students should actively engage with their college and major advisors.”
There are multiple resources for incoming students who are struggling, according to Wagner.
“The OLs, advising staff, counselors; everyone wants to support students and see them have a successful first year,” Wagner said via email. “New students may struggle or encounter unexpected challenges but they are not alone and there’s a circle of faculty, staff and other students who will be there for them.”
Jennifer Peng, a prospective sustainable environmental design major from Elk Grove, CA, notes the diversity at UC Davis as an important aspect of the university.
“I was deciding between another school and Davis, and Davis attracted me more because of [the diversity],” Peng said via Instagram Direct Message. “I really want to meet new people of different backgrounds and ideas and learn about it all! Also, Davis’ dedication to sustainability since it aligns with my major and what I care most about.”Written by: Christine Lee — firstname.lastname@example.org