UC relaxes requirements for admitted and prospective applicants


Due to COVID-19, UC schools will not require prospective applicants to take a SAT or ACT for fall 2021. Photo by Wikimedia Commons, used with permission

From public to private schools, the impact COVID-19 has had on public education can be seen from any campus. However, with the College Board cancelling many of the opportunities for students to take a SAT or ACT, schools in California were forced to make a decision about what their policies would be going into the new school year.

On March 31, the UC system released a statement outlining their new policies for admitted and prospective applications for the fall quarter of 2020 and 2021. First, the UC schools will not require students to earn the previously required letter grade for all A-G courses. This new policy will affect all seniors who needed to earn a specific letter grade to maintain their admission into a UC school, as well as all juniors who took A-G courses to add to their college transcript.

“I’m glad that the UCs made this decision because it takes a lot of stress off of me. Even though I was already admitted into some of the UC schools, it’s nice to know that no matter what happens with grades, I’ll still be able to attend school there in the fall,” Nick Reis said.

Furthermore, the UC system will not require students applying for fall of 2021 to take a SAT or ACT. In their released statement, the UC makes it clear that this is not a permanent change, but is simply being made to accomodate for the current situation.

“I think both things make sense considering that most juniors are currently unable to take the SAT, and that most students who had a poor grade in a class before school was let out will have a much harder time bringing it up,” Sam Hernandez said. “Ultimately, I hope that this is the start of colleges putting less emphasis on superficial factors like standardized testing.”

While this may provide some relief for some students, many students are still left confused about how their application will be reviewed and how acceptances will be decided.

“I think that during this time there needs to be another way for testing like how AP tests became modified. Personally, my SAT test was cancelled, and I’ve become more stressed about how college admissions will be determined. If they took out the SAT and ACT requirements, how will they determine who is accepted and who isn’t.”

— Nicole Clark

The statement also said that they will continue to accept scores from this year’s modified AP test style. So, if a student scores a 3, 4, or 5 on an AP test this year, they will receive college credit like normal from a UC school.

While COVID-19 has created a lot of uncertainty in many people’s lives, the UC system is hoping that by easing its requirements for students to apply to their schools, the lives of students will be less stressful. Additionally, they want to ensure that disruptions due to the current pandemic will not block students from applying to and possibly attending college at one of their schools.

In a statement released March 31 to the official UC website, UC President Janet Napolitano said, “The COVID-19 outbreak is a disaster of historic proportions disrupting every aspect of our lives, including education for high school students, among others. 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.”