Why does UC Berkeley request a letter of recommendation from only a few students?

Why does UC Berkeley request a letter of recommendation from only a few students?

I work with top-tier students in the UK (Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, UCL etc) as well as a couple European and American (Harvard, Yale).

Letters of recommendation in my experience are secondary to the application process. The primary part is:

  1. Your SOP (Statement of Purpose)
  2. Grades
  3. School you’re coming from (in some cases)
  4. AND THEN supplementary materials such as a letter of recommendation (LOR) are the exception rather than the rule

If it is being introduced - it’s fundamentally to try and getting the highest possible calibre of candidate - which the LOR will help provide.

In many cases, as I’ve personally experienced in the workplace - you have some excellent candidates on paper that clearly shouldn’t be there. The one’s that ‘slip through the net’.

An LOR would help reduce such issues and also give those that are worthy more of a chance at getting in

transcribed from UC Berkeley