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New UC admissions and undergraduate application websites

Every year, hundreds of thousands of prospective students start their journey to UC by coming through the university’s virtual front doors — the systemwide admissions site and the undergraduate application.

As the main repository for all admissions-related information, the admissions site is one of the university’s most frequently visited digital properties. It attracts close to four million users every year. The undergraduate application collects entries to all nine undergraduate campuses and is accessed by hundreds of thousands of students each year.

Redesigned from the ground-up

While critical content on both sites was occasionally updated over the years, neither site had been fully assessed for almost a decade — and the two sites had never been reviewed in tandem. A reenvisioning of the sites was led by Marketing Communications, with production and development spanning a large interdisciplinary team composed of staff from Student Affairs, Diversity and Engagement, and ITS.

The team began with an extensive research phase. They evaluated visitors’ needs, goals and experiences to better understand what users were trying to accomplish and the challenges posed by the current sites. They then initiated a ground-up redesign of both properties, aimed at putting students, parents, counselors and other users in the spotlight.

The new sites, which reflect their findings, were launched on July 31, 2019.

An engaging experience

Today, each site has a fresh, new look that is mobile-friendly and modern. Intuitive pages display conversational, easy-to-understand language. Visitors feel welcome and less intimidated by the application process.

As users travel from the admissions site to the application, they have a consistent and engaging experience. And, while both sites have usability and clarity as their primary goals, they exude an energy and optimism that is characteristically UC.

Supporting California students

Although the sites encourage applicants from around the world, California students are made to feel especially welcome. Encouraging statements directed at in-state applicants include, “Two out of three California students who applied to UC last year got in.” And, the sites emphasize financial aid for California residents — explaining that those whose families make less than $80,000 annually won’t pay tuition or fees.

To highlight student diversity, the site also features graphics created for the “If all of UC were just 100 students” interactive data visualization that Marketing Communications produced earlier this year.

View the new admissions site and undergraduate application!

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