CALIFORNIA, USA — In an effort to mitigate some of the hurdles brought about by the coronavirus, California's top public universities made some serious changes to their admissions process.
Both the University of California and California State University said they are relaxing some of their admission requirements after SAT and ACT dates were canceled and classes moved online due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, despite relaxing the requirements, both the CSU and UC said these changes won't be making it easier to get into college. The changes are meant to accommodate students impacted by the pandemic.
UC application changes for fall 2021
There are two main changes for UC applications are in regard to testing and letter grades.
Letter grade requirements for "A-G" courses were suspended for work done in the spring and summer of 2020, which means a "pass" grade won’t impact a student's eligibility.
Adding to that, these pass/no pass grades won’t factor into GPA calculations.
SAT and ACT test requirements were also suspended, but the situation isn't without some nuance. For practical purposes though, the SAT and ACT tests won't be required once UC applications start on Nov. 1.
The nuance lies with an Alameda County Superior Court order telling the UC to stop using the ACT and SAT in their freshman admission and scholarship decisions. It's a decision made months after the UC suspended the SAT and ACT requirements in April due to the pandemic and later made the tests optional in this year and the next for California freshman applicants as the UC searches for a new standardized test.
The court decision could impact those who wanted to take the tests and submit scores, which the UC said could help with statewide UC eligibility, certain scholarship applications, and some graduation requirements.
The UC has been looking into whether more legal action was called for regarding the court order.
More information on application changes can be found HERE.
CSU application changes for fall 2021
The CSU will be making similar accommodations heading into their application period in October.
Both the SAT and ACT requirements have been temporarily suspended for prospective fall 2021 freshmen. This means they won't be used in the admission evaluation process, even if you took the tests and submitted them. However, they could be used to help place students in the appropriate math and English courses.
With no test scores, the CSU said they'll be using students' "A-G" GPA and other factors like household income, extracurricular activities, and the number of courses exceeding the minimum "A-G" requirements.
The CSU also suspended the letter grade requirements for "A-G" courses that were done in the winter, spring, or summer of 2020. The change means that "pass" and "credit" grades will meet the CSU requirements, and pass and credit grades will not be factored into GPA for students.
Suspension of the ACT and SAT is not a permanent policy shift. If the pandemic continues to impact schools and testing for longer than expected, the CSU said they'll review their admission criteria.
For more details on the CSU application changes, click HERE.