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Coronavirus Update: University Of California System Eases Admission And Testing Requirements

BERKELEY (CBS SF) -- University of California officials on Wednesday announced administrators will relax undergrad admissions requirements for students hoping to enroll in the system for the fall of 2020 and future years in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, easing SAT testing and grading conditions.

The decision was made by the UC system's Board of Regents Tuesday night to implement the new temporary measures, according to a release issued by the University of California. The release said the changes would "help mitigate some of the extraordinary challenges students and their families face in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic."

The changes will impact admissions for all UC system schools, including UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco and UC Davis in Northern California.


"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," said said chair of the Board of Regents John A. Pérez.

University of California President Janet Napolitano also endorsed the temporary changes to admission policy.

"The COVID-19 outbreak is a disaster of historic proportions disrupting every aspect of our lives, including education for high school students, among others," Napolitano said. "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."

With the coronavirus outbreak forcing the closure of high schools across the country, many schools have switched to "pass/fail" grading as an alternative to the letter grading usually required by the UC system. The pandemic has also cancelled all testing including the SAT and K-12 standardized testing.

The UC Regents approved the below measures to ease admission requirements for the system:

  • 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.
  • For transfer students, temporarily suspending the cap on the number of transferable units with "pass/no pass" grading applied toward the minimum 60 semester/90 quarter units required for junior standing.

In conjunction with the College Board's recently announced changes to Advanced Placement (AP) exams and class credit for spring 2020, the UC system will award UC credit for 2020 AP exams completed with scores of 3, 4 or 5, consistent with previous years results.

UC is asking schools to submit of final transcripts by July 1, but school officials may contact UC if they are unable or unsure about their ability to provide transcripts by that date by emailing and providing a date when transcripts should be available.

The UC system has additional information for students and schools at the UC coronavirus webpage.

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