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The University of California’s flexible policies during COVID-19

Uploaded: Apr 2, 2020
(written by Lori McCormick)

Yesterday, the University of California announced that they are going to ease up on admissions requirements for the current 2020 and upcoming 2021 admissions cycles. The full article is here.

I attended a conference, virtual of course, this morning that addressed the UC’s recent announcement and clarified several questions I have been fielding from families. I want to share that information with you.

How are spring semester grades going to impact my UC admission?
The UC awards A-G coursework with a grade of C or better. Since many high schools are switching to a Pass/No Pass or Credit/No Credit grading system (at least for the time being), the UC will accept Pass or Credit grades on student’s transcripts.
The UC will accept Pass/Credit grades from 2020 Winter, Spring, and Summer quarters. This applies to high school and transfer students, if applicable.

To further clarify, on the UC website: "Pass (P) or Credit (CR) grades will meet A-G subject requirements but will not be calculated in the GPA. UC will continue to calculate the GPA for admission purposes using all A-G courses passed with letter grades in grades 10 and 11, including summer terms following grades 9, 10, and 11. Extra points in honors-level coursework will continue to be capped at 8 semesters of honors points in A-G courses completed with letter grades of A, B, and C in grades 10 and 11.”

Do I need to take the SAT or ACT? What about subject tests?
The main takeaway from the UC was this: if you have test scores and want to submit them, they will review them. However, if you DO NOT have test scores, OR, have scores you wish not to send, there is NO penalty for NOT submitting scores.

Subject tests are OPTIONAL and not REQUIRED, and always have been. The same rule as above applies. If you have taken the subject test (s) and want to send them because you feel they are a strong reflection of your academic understanding of the subject, then submit. However, there is NO penalty for NOT submitting subject test scores.

Also, in case you are wondering, you MAY submit the SAT without writing if you took the test without writing.

For those of you who wonder what the rules will be for IB test scores? The UC is still making their decision, but the word “flexible” came up several times in the meeting.

What about my AP exams?
The College Board announced they would be offering AP exams this spring virtually. The UC will accept those AP scores.

If you are a current high school senior, send your AP scores through the College Board before July 15th to the UC campus you will attend in the fall.

I keep hearing Students Intent to Register dates, also known as Decision Day, have been pushed back to June, is this true for the UC's?
The short answer is NO. The UC system is still requiring students to commit to their campus by May 1st. The reasoning behind this is their long waitlist of students anticipating an answer from the UC's.

I am attending UC (fill in the blank campus) this fall. My high school is closed, how do I get my transcripts sent?
The UC understands and wants to be as flexible as possible. The preference is that transcripts, whether official or unofficial, are sent directly from the high school. However, if you are unable to reach your high school administration for support, notify the UC campus you will be attending and they will work with you individually on this issue.

I hope this information has provided you with some answers and clarification. I encourage you to visit the UC’s website for any further information, as I suspect their website will continue to update as new information is available.

We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?

Comments

 +   15 people like this
Posted by Prospective, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Apr 3, 2020 at 12:07 am

>>"I keep hearing Students Intent to Register dates, also known as Decision Day, have been pushed back to June, is this true for the UC's?
The short answer is NO. The UC system is still requiring students to commit to their campus by May 1st. The reasoning behind this is their long waitlist of students anticipating an answer from the UC's."

We had the problem that our income in 2018, the FAFSA year, was not representative of our actual income or economic circumstances (and the extra that year paid debts and high unreimbursed medical plus much higher taxes), but FAFSA has no policy to let you adjust that, they just say to appeal at every college. The trouble with that approach is that the system doesn't really have a standard process, or dates/deadlines (and many colleges make judgments based on the income that is reported, related to students' admission).

The trouble is that a lot of UC's won't even process your appeal quickly and with everything going on, employees aren't in the office. A lot of students will be impacted because of Covid-19 income changes.

It's true that there are long waitlists, but everyone is in the same boat. Many colleges are pushing back the SIR date already, and it's better if everyone is on the same page. The students who have been admitted deserve a chance to be processed fairly in the system and make their decisions, and financial aid is part of that, especially if people's circumstances are not the same as in 2018. Waitlisted students know they may have to wait long after the SIR date to be admitted. UC's should push back the date to June 1, and set an example.


 +   15 people like this
Posted by JUS, a resident of Waverly Park,
on Apr 3, 2020 at 11:30 am

Do the UCs have an appeal process? I have a top 9% HS grad who was either wait listed or denied at all UCs he applied to (Davis, Irvine, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and LA). If the other campuses do not offer a major a student wants, why should they apply to that campus? It's infuriating to not have access to a public school system I have paid for through taxes.


 +   14 people like this
Posted by Christina Owen, a resident of Community Center,
on Apr 3, 2020 at 11:48 am

Christina Owen is a registered user.

Regarding transcripts, school registrars, staff, teachers, and administrators are all still working (feverishly!) So should be no trouble requesting transcripts. School buildings are closed, but we're all still here for you! :)


 +   12 people like this
Posted by Prospective, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Apr 3, 2020 at 8:39 pm

It's unfortunate, but there is no more guarantee for the top 10% of students in the state anymore at UCs, and it's pretty tough even for very competitive students with stellar stats. The reason to apply to another campus if they might not get in is that first two years, the classes are all the same anyway. Kids can transfer if they want something else.

Did your kid apply to CSU's? Other pretty good state schools reputed to offer free rides for high scorers in the west like Colorado State? Some have rolling admissions and may still be available. We looked at Northern AZ University which is a WUE school. (My kid had perfect/top 1% tests with no prep, mid 4's GPA, great/interesting background, motivated/sincere person, unusual accomplishments, all advanced coursework, good recs, got into about 40%, waitlisted a third, no a third - all chosen because of really good fit, none as “safeties". The top choice that kid would have said yes to sight unseen was a no.)

Your kid sounds motivated and could do well as a transfer student. Many good UCs offer guaranteed transfer, and even though UCLA doesn't guarantee, something like 85% of the kids who apply for transfer from Foothill and DeAnza for UCLA transfer get in to UCLA. It's hundreds of students from just DeAnza and Foothill every year, i.e., probably better odds than the freshman application. CC transfer was my kid's "safety" if there were no admissions.

The rejections do hurt, but your kid is talented, and there are still good routes. It's hard to go through this during this crisis for all the kids. Give yourself a chance to grieve (including getting upset) and appeal if it's an option. All the UC websites tell you if appeal is available. My best to your family, and to your kid to find what works best.


 +   11 people like this
Posted by Perspective, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Apr 3, 2020 at 8:43 pm

@JUS
Over 80% of students change majors, and it averages 3 times. I wish there weren't such pressure on funneling freshmen into their majors.

The best is to try to aim for a place with lots of options. For my kid the educational approach/philosophy/freedom and conditions that allow true learning and collaboration/research/being able to register for classes, strong community on campus, ethical place, nice, motivated peers -- and actually being able to afford to go " are priorities since majors can and do change. The former is actually the harder to assess.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by Sally, a resident of Downtown North,
on Apr 4, 2020 at 3:26 pm

It's worth noting that these relaxations are of "minimum" admission requirements. That means the requirements for the UCs to look at the rest of your application and make their decision.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by ASR , a resident of College Terrace,
on Apr 15, 2020 at 4:09 pm

Now is the time to do away with grading.

Do as much work at home.

Give a lot of take home exams. Give the student feedback.

Do attendance grade as Attended or Not Attended.


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