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UC Berkeley Requests Letters Of Recommendation From Applicants — And Sparks A Debate

In a significant break from tradition, UC Berkeley will ask some freshman applicants to submit letters of recommendation from teachers and mentors this fall. And the UC system is studying whether all of its nine undergraduate campuses should do the same in future years as another way to choose among the avalanche of students seeking admission.

The new policy at UC Berkeley, while optional and limited this year, has triggered much debate at other UC campuses and high schools around the state about the value of such letters and whether they hurt or help the chances of public school students.