UC regents ease admissions requirement for applicants

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As a result of the COVID-19, or the new coronavirus, pandemic, the UC system is easing admissions requirements for students looking to apply this fall and possibly in future years.

The decision to relax admissions requirements was intended  to help mitigate challenges faced by students and families, according to a UC press release. These short term measures include suspending letter grade requirements for A-G courses completed in certain terms, suspending the standardized test requirement for students seeking freshman admission to the UC system for fall 2021, preventing rescission of student admission offers and temporarily suspending the number of transferable units on pass/no pass courses for transfer applicants.

“We want to help alleviate the tremendous disruption and anxiety that is already overwhelming prospective students due to COVID-19,” said John Pérez, chair of the UC Board of Regents, in the press release. “By removing artificial barriers and decreasing stressors – including suspending the use of the SAT – for this unprecedented moment in time, we hope there will be less worry for our future students.”

Due to the spread of COVID-19, many high schools throughout the United States have been forced to shift to online classes. Additionally, many schools have adopted pass/fail or credit/no credit grading options for A-G courses, which are needed to qualify for admission to UC campuses. As a result, students may have a difficult time meeting university admissions requirements, according to the press release.

To help alleviate these pressures, UC administration has suspended the letter grade requirement for A-G classes completed in the winter, spring and summer of 2020 for both prospective applicants and recently admitted students.

The UC system is still requesting that final transcripts be submitted by July 1. According to the press release, however, if schools are unable to issue transcripts by that date, they can notify UC administration and include a date by which the transcripts should be made available.

The Board of Regents also decided that no admissions offers would be rescinded for missing the deadline to submit final transcripts and that student retention of admission through the first day of classes would remain until campus receives necessary documents.

Additionally, K-12 standardized testing and college entrance exams have been canceled, which can negatively affect a student’s progress, according to the press release. In response, the standardized testing requirement for freshman applicants applying for fall 2021 will be suspended.

Despite changes made to AP exams by the College Board, the UC system will still award UC class credit for 2020 AP exams with a score of 3 or higher, according to the press release.

To support prospective transfer students, UC administration has also temporarily suspended the cap on transferable pass/no pass units applied toward the minimum of 60 semester or 90 quarter units to attain junior standing.

“The COVID-19 outbreak is a disaster of historic proportions disrupting every aspect of our lives, including education for high school students, among others,” said UC President Janet Napolitano in the press release. “The University’s flexibility at this crucial time will ensure prospective students aiming for UC get a full and fair shot — no matter their current challenges.”

Mallika Seshadri is the city news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @SeshadriMallika.