Highlights for Student Affairs Strategic Priority: Access

Goals: Advance an inclusive campus climate; increase affordability 

Building Community

Office of Undergraduate Admissions 


Berkeley received a record number of applications for undergraduate admission in 2014. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions staff reviewed 96,100 total applications: 78,900 freshman and 17,200 transfer. The admit rate consequently dropped to a historic low of 15.1 percent, down from 17.4 percent the previous year. To meet the increased numbers, Admissions spent the last year working with faculty, reviewing the application process. One outcome of this partnership, to be implemented in fall 2015, gives freshman applicants the option of submitting up to two letters of recommendation with their application. This translates into an opportunity for applicants to bring powerful information about the unique qualities that make them outstanding candidates. UC Berkeley will be the first UC campus to incorporate letters of recommendation in the application process (however, students who apply to multiple campuses may find that each campus has a process for collecting additional information, such as part of Augmented Review)


Financial Aid website

Financial Aid & Scholarships


In addition to disbursing over $675 million of student financial support, the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office recruited a record number of Regents’ and Chancellor’s scholars, including Berkeley’s highest percentage of underrepresented scholars to date. Other staff achievements included: expanding the financial literacy peer mentorship program, Bears for Financial Success, and successfully launching its first Financial Literacy Day; creating the Student Advisory Committee on Financial Aid and Education, which gives students with a unique opportunity to provide confidential advice to senior campus administrators about financial aid, affordability, and financial literacy; successfully implementing the state's new Middle Class Scholarship program; and developing new outreach material, including a video that features student stories about their financial aid experience.





Student Affairs Philanthropy continues to connect alumni, parents, and friends to Berkeley in support of scholarships and the student experience with over $20 million raised during 2014-15. A $300,000 gift, creating the largest endowment ever for a registered student organization, was received for the College Ski & Snowboard Club. This gift will ensure that students will no longer have to pay out-of-pocket expenses while training and representing Berkeley in regional and national competitions.

Career Center

Career Center 


The recent Graduate Student Mental Health and Wellness survey reported that career concerns are the leading source of anxiety among Berkeley grad students. This past year, Career Center PhD counselors conducted over 500 one-on-one counseling appointments with current grad students, and worked with campus units and graduate student groups to deliver nearly 50 programs and workshops with over 2,000 attendees. To meet rising demand for more information and guidance around the pursuit of careers, the Career Center has a portfolio of new programming that leverages new tools, such as LinkedIn and the Versatile PhD, and provides entrée to PhDs already working in in the business, government, and nonprofit sectors through collaborative initiatives such as the PhD Career Colloquium and the two-day Beyond Academia conference.



Residential & Housing Services: Programs & Operations 


Strong partnership across the division made Move-In easier for new students and their families, including creation of a Guidebook App specific to Berkeley Move-In and Getting Your Bearings welcome events. The team earned an ACPA National Award and a COSA Team award. A New Residential Code of Student Conduct gave a fresh, streamlined design to material that’s critical for residents in university housing.


Guided by the Community Development Plan, the Residential Education staff, and especially the Resident Assistants, strive to interact with each resident to help them individually connect to the campus community. To facilitate this process, Resident Assistants completed approximately 5,000 hours of one-to-one engagement with residential students each semester last year.


Ombuds Office

Student Ombuds


The Ombuds Office for Students and Postdoctoral Appointees has seen an increase in the number of cases requiring additional action. Now, more than half of all cases require follow-up, an increase of 14 percent from the prior year. Additionally, a quarter of all cases require facilitated resolution. The department increased its contributions to broader university and divisional goals through service on committees and workgroups, including the UCOP sexual violence/sexual assault task force and the divisional Go Big strategic planning initiative. Finally, the Ombuds served as the co-chair for the annual International Ombudsman Conference, which resulted in the largest event to date and contributed to the overall development of the profession.