On the Berkeley site, the following points are highlighted as key concepts that LOR writers should consider:
• Academic performance and potential (both overall and in the context of the class)
• Love of learning
• Leadership (in school, family, or community)
• Persistence in the face of challenges
• Cross-cultural engagement
• Demonstrated concern for others
Additional information about the new policy:
• Of the two letters, one must be written by a teacher/instructor. The other can be done by anyone else who knows the student well. Only two letters will be accepted.
• The invitation to submit these letters will be delivered to you via email sometime in November AFTER you’ve submitted your application. This opportunity will NOT be present in the original application, nor will it be available to transfer students.
• Currently, the system-wide UC application does not require applicants to submit a LOR. Berkeley is trying to supplement its holistic review process by inviting some applicants to submit additional materials.
• Letters must be submitted electronically by 11:59 p.m. on January 1, 2016.
• There is no word limit but letters shouldn’t exceed one page.
• The school site states that “students without a letter will not be at a disadvantage, but we do highly encourage students who are selected to use this opportunity
Check out our College Letters of Recommendation 101 resource page for loads of advice on how to choose the best recommenders for you.