UC and CSU Announce New Admissions Policies To Mitigate Challenges Students Face Due to Coronavirus

April 1 article from the Association of California School Administrators:

As school districts consider adopting new grading schemes in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and distance learning, the University of California and California State University are committing to hold harmless students entering their universities.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and State Board of Education President Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond plan to release additional guidance on grading for K-12 Local Educational Agencies. In the meantime, they have emphasized that high school seniors will continue to graduate if they are already on track, and higher education institutions will provide flexibility to prevent students from being disadvantaged this year and in the future.

University of California 
Today, the UC Office of the President announced measures to relax undergraduate admissions requirements to “mitigate some of the extraordinary challenges students and their families face.” These measures include:

  • Suspending the letter grade requirement for A-G courses completed in winter/spring/summer 2020 for all students, including UC’s most-recently admitted freshmen.
  • Suspending the standardized test requirement for students applying for fall 2021 freshman admission.
  • Providing that there will be no rescission of student admissions offers that result from students or schools missing official final transcript deadlines, and student retention of admission status through the first day of class until official documents are received by campuses.

To see the full University of California press release, click here.

California State University 
The CSU released its amended admissions policies and practices today, providing an overview of key changes based on student grade levels.

For incoming college freshmen:

  • Accepting transcripts for incoming freshmen through the fall 2020 term, and will accept unofficial or self-reported data due to extend school closures.
  • Assessing and initially placing students in first-year english/math based on multiple measures:  high school college courses completed, GPAs and test scores (SBAC, ACT, SAT) that students have submitted thus far.

For high school juniors:

  • CSU “recommends” all students enroll in a yearlong, senior-year English course and a mathematics/quantitative reasoning course.
  • CSU is still determining the appropriate path forward for edibility criteria for fall 2021 applicants regarding the indefinite suspension of the ACT/SAT examinations.

For students in grades 8-10:

  • Accepting “credit” or “pass” to satisfy A-G requirements completed during winter, spring, or summer 2020 terms.  All prior coursework must be graded and a grade C- or better for the course to satisfy A-G requirements.
  • Grades of credit/pass or no credit/non-passing will not be included in the calculation of high school GPA.

As noted above, the California Department of Education is anticipated to release additional guidance on district grading policies later tonight.