#3AlfredAnswered at 2013-09-29 15:09:28
I am an alumna, class of 2002. I *loved* my time at Berkeley. However, if you want to go there, you need to be keen on getting their name correct. BerkelEy. Or just call it "Cal" like everyone else.
Based on my experience, in order to be a competitive applicant, you need a GPA above 3.9 with plenty of honors classes. Your SAT score needs to be near or above 690 Verbal 720 Math. Have lots of extracurriculars, volunteer gigs and sports on your resumé. And there is significant advantage if you are a California resident.
Tuition is about $3500/semester. Apartments cost $850+/month so you will want a roommate unless you are wealthy. Dorms are only guaranteed for fall freshmen. Spring admits fend for yourselves.
Impacted majors include psychology, mass communications, computer science. My major, molecular biology, was the biggest major on campus, but oddly enough it was not impacted.
Campus leans very liberally, but the College Republicans are the largest stuent group at Cal. The atmosphere is fun, bohemian, and very laid-back. Yeah, a lot of people are on drugs, but I wasn't one of them.
Cal's faculty boasts several Nobel laureates* and Fields medalists. Even those without medals and awards are tops in their field.
* The campus inside joke is that if you win the Nobel prize, the University awards you a parking space. These spaces are labeled "NL."
Sports are decent at Cal. There was an Olympic swimmer in my class. Our mascot is the Golden Bear. His name is "Oski." A minor faultline runs underneath the stadium. Rumor has it, in the next big quake, the stadium will be swallowed into a chasm in the Earth.
Gosh, what else could you possibly want to know about the greatest university (far superior to Stanfurd) in the whole wide world?
Anyway, good luck on getting in. You will need it. GO BEARS!