Episode 38 – UCLA: Nation’s Largest Applicant Pool 11.21.18

Dr. Cynthia Colon With Guest Gary Clark UClA Director Of Admissions

UCLA Applications Podcast With Guest Gary Clark UCLA Director Of Admissions

“Think less about what you think we want to hear, and more about what you want to say.”

Gary Clark, Director of Undergraduate Admission at UCLA.

The University of California receives more applications than any other public or private institution in the country. UCLA ranks number one as the leader of the board, having received with over 135 thousand applicants in each of the last two years. 


If you ever wanted to get in the brain of the Director of Admission at a highly selective institution, you will not be disappointed. I traveled to visit Gary live on the UCLA campus and we did the show from his office. 

The interview is broken up into three parts. Here are a few key highlights of what Gary Clark shared in each section of the interview:

Part 1: Gary Clark’s Describes UCLA and His Personal Journey 

Best Gary Clark “Golden Nuggets” from Part 1:

If you picture a college diploma hanging on a wall, the name of that institution is in script along the top. We focus so much attention on that, that we forget about the name in the middle of the diploma which is your name.”

Part 2: Gary Clark Describes College Admissions And What It Means To Craft A Class

Best Gary Clark “Golden Nuggets” from Part 2:

“The work of college admission appeals to both my head and my heart. It gives me that intellectual challenge of trying to meet layers and layers of [institutional] priorities … but also that real emotional connection with families, students and counselors and helping them to understand the what and the why behind the work that we do.”


“[College Admissions] It’s a human process, so it is imperfect and flawed, there’s no way to get around that. But it is also a process that is a human process and that we’re not just crunching numbers here.”


“It’s really not about aspiring to be like somebody else who was successful in this process, it’s about really aspiring to represent yourself as fully and as authentically as possible in any college application.” 


“The UC application doesn’t have a lot of safety nets … you have to be a strong self-advocate. You have to be somebody who’s willing to tell your story and to hit all the points that you really need us to know because there isn’t a counselor or a teacher that’s going to cover those details or isn’t an interview that you can count on that’s going to cover those details.”

Part 3: Gary Clark Discusses The UC System And Tips On The UC Application

Best Gary Clark “Golden Nuggets” from Part 3:

“The UC actually limits the number of things that you can list in the application in terms of involvement outside of class and part of the philosophy behind that is, you know, we don’t want students to feel like it’s a question of volume. We want them to understand it’s a real assessment of the quality of commitment to what you’re doing outside of the classroom.”


“[UCLA applicant pool] It’s a very self-selective applicant pool and there are not a lot of bad students that apply here, and so we are choosing amongst very, very talented students. I think we’re all humbled by that and proud of the fact that those students are considering UCLA and honor us with an application. But what it means is that the quality of students that we admit are extraordinary and the quality of students that are often not admitted here is also extraordinary.”

Thank you so much for listening today! Consider me your Step-By-Step College Admissions Coach and Cheerleader.  This podcast is for college-bound teens and the parents, mentors and educators who support them. By being here today, it tells me that you are not only a #Dreamer, but you are a #Doer! Now, go celebrate with a single or maybe even a double scoop of ice cream!

Tell me the TRUTH: Did this episode help you understand, fuel your passion, or inspire you to dream? If YES, please join me in the mission to spread the love by sharing this episode with 3 people in the next 30 minutes.

Spread the word

Now, let’s get real. Have you subscribed to Destination YOUniversity? I don’t want you to ever miss an episode, they are filled with golden nuggets!! You can subscribe to Destination YOUniversity on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

By subscribing YOU are helping to grow the community of informed families AND grow the number of college-bound teens nation wide! Thank you for joining the movement.

Feeling especially inspired today? I hope so. I believe each episode is “double scoop” worthy. If you felt the same today, I would be ever grateful if you would write us a review on iTunes. Those reviews will help other families and teens find my podcast as they navigate the overwhelming process of college admissions.  JUST CLICK HERE TO REVIEW , select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what you learned, if you had an “ah-ha” moment, and what was your favorite “golden nugget.” THANK YOU THANK YOU!! 

As a bonus, email me a screenshot of your review at [email protected], and I will send you a gift card for a scoop on me!

Schedule with Dr. CC to learn more about:-

Becoming A Guest

Schedule a call to find out about being one of our guests.

Podcast Sponsorship

Show off your Product or service

Custom Sponsor Kit

Find out more about our custom sponsorship offers

Destination YOUniversity

Over 11K active listeners per month. Voice America is page 10 with 5M active listeners per month.


  Fueling Confidence

Success Mindset

  Achieving Goals

Building Dreams

  Leadership Skills

  Confidence & Inspiration

  Overcoming Challenges

  Overcoming Setbacks

Contact Our Producer

Randall Libero

Senior Executive Producer

VoiceAmerica Digital Studios

Home of the VoiceAmerica Talk Radio Network

480-553-5743  / Skype: randall.libero1

Linked In Profile

To Book A Time To Speak With Me:

This episode is brought to you by my Essay Workshop

Copyright © 2018. Dr. Cynthia Colon  Privacy Policy

Website designed with by OWD