UC Application Verification January 04, 2017 17:48

Summary: The UC system audits about 10% of the applications it receives from freshman and transfer applicants. You may have received this email; if you did, it is vital that you respond.
Are you the 10%?


We have some important information for you regarding a request for verification of information that you might receive.

If you’re a senior applying to the UCs

If you’re one of the lucky 10%, you have received (or will soon receive) a request (well, more like a requirement) to verify a part of your application. The verification process is completely random, and does not mean that the admissions committee doubts anything on your application.

If you’re not a high school senior applying to the UCs

Heads up! The UC system randomly audits about 10% of the applications they receive and asks applicants for additional documentation. Keep this in mind during your years in high school and while you’re planning your applications. For example, you may want to get documentation in advance or be sure to safeguard any documentation you receive. And obviously, it’s never good to lie on your applications (and not just because you won’t get caught—it’s just the right thing to do).

Oh, other universities that you apply to may have similar procedures as well. So again: Don’t lie on your application!

What to do if you get a request for verification from the University of California

Some advice if you’ve received the request for verification:

  • Please be sure to follow the instructions to the letter. If they ask for verification of an award, provide verification of the award, not verification of something else or some other reasons why you rock the world.
  • Provide all documentation in writing. It may be tempting to make a quick phone call to get your problems sorted, but there’s a chance that the process will glitch, and you won’t have a record of your conversation.
  • If you notice a mistake, for example, if the UCs ask you for verification of something on your application that you did not put on your application, respond in writing explaining the error. It is possible that they will then ask you to verify another part of your application instead.
  • Check your spam or junk folder to make sure you didn’t receive this request.
  • Reply by the deadline—if you do not, your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be admitted.
  • Do not ask the UCs to contact someone for you; it is your responsibility to provide the proof and documentation. So don’t call up and say, “Hey, my teacher will totally back me up! Her name’s Ms. Weisenheimer at Maya Angelou High School. Just call her, and she’ll back up everything I said!” They won’t call for you; you need to do the legwork on this one.
  • If for some reason you are unable to provide verification, just explain why very clearly (and with a level head, of course). Hopefully, if your story is plausible and seems genuine, they will ask you to verify another part of your application instead.
  • Your verification information does not need to be laudatory; it simply needs to prove the accuracy of the information on your application. In other words, your verification doesn’t necessarily need to say wonderful things about you (but of course, it shouldn’t say you are a criminal, either). So something like “Chris Young interned in the Veese Lab at UCSF for eight weeks during the summer of 2020 for approximately 40 hours each week” will work fine. It does not need to say “Chris Young was my mentee during the summer of 2020 at the Veese Lab at UCSF for eight weeks for approximately forty hours each week. I can say without hesitation that Chris was an exemplary intern and fulfilled all of her duties beyond expectation.”

What you need to send

So, what qualifies as proper verification? In many cases, a simple paper letter will do. In others, you may wish to scan an existing document, such as a transcript or an award, and send that.

  • Pro tip #1: If you’re going to ask a supervisor or teacher to provide this information, it’s considered polite among those of us who have written many letters of recommendation to provide a basic outline of the information that the letter should contain.
  • Pro tip #2: This is another reason to whitelist all UC email addresses in your email client—add all the UC email addresses that you have to your safe-senders list.


Did you receive a request for verification of information? If you’re one of our students and you have questions, just stop by and we’ll help. Even if you’re not a student, please feel free to get in touch, and we’ll still help.

Any other questions? Let us know!

And happy (lunar) new year to all of you!

Erin Billy