What's new in UC admissions? Back to Expanding Access to Educational Opportunities

The University of California's admissions process has been in the news a lot lately. Several proposals that would change the way UC admits its students are being considered, and you may have heard about some of them.

We developed this guide to keep students, parents, counselors and teachers informed of what is changing - and what isn't - in the UC admissions process.

What stays the same for 2002

Eligibility criteria: UC requires students to complete a specified number of academic courses in high school, called the "a-f/g" subjects. The university then uses a numerical index, consisting of standardized test scores and grades in these UC-required courses, to determine a student's "eligibility" for the UC system. Eligibility guarantees a student admission to at least one UC campus, though not necessarily his or her campus of choice. The university uses this eligibility model to ensure that we offer access to the top 12.5 percent of California high school graduates, as designated in the state Master Plan for Higher Education. The coursework required, the index and related information about eligibility are available on the web at: http://www.ucop.edu/pathways/infoctr/introuc/fresh.html

Eligibility in the Local Context program: The fall 2002 admission cycle is the second in which UC will be offering an additional route to achieving UC eligibility, beyond the statewide eligibility criteria mentioned above. The Eligibility in the Local Context program grants UC eligibility to the top 4 percent of students in each California high school, based on their grades in UC-required courses. UC makes this determination based on the evaluation of student transcripts forwarded to UC by individual high schools. Details about the program are available at: http://www.ucop.edu/sas/elc/
Audio file - President Atkinson on ELC

Admissions by campuses: Students fill out one UC application during the month of November but use it to apply to as many UC campuses as they wish. Each campus selects its own freshman class by the following April 1, and students may be admitted to more than one campus. Most campuses have admission criteria that are more stringent than the criteria for minimum UC eligibility, though the specifics vary by campus. Details are available on the Web at: http://www.ucop.edu/pathways/infoctr/introuc/select.html

Consideration of race and gender: Under Proposition 209, race and gender cannot be considered in the UC admissions process. This remains the case despite a recent action by the UC Board of Regents rescinding SP-1, a similar university policy that preceded Proposition 209. The university continues to seek out a student body each year that demonstrates high academic achievement and that encompasses the broad diversity of backgrounds characteristic of California. For more, see: http://www.ucop.edu/news/access/welcome.html
Audio file - President Atkinson on diversity

What is changing for fall 2002

Comprehensive review: The UC Board of Regents has approved a modified campus selection process for freshman applicants, beginning with the class applying for fall 2002 entrance, that will lead to a more thorough and complete review of the qualifications a student presents when applying to one of UC's undergraduate campuses. Called "comprehensive review," the modified approach replaces the previous "two-tiered" process in which each campus was required to admit 50-75 percent of its freshman class solely on the basis of certain academic factors. Despite the change, however, students applying to UC for fall 2002 do not need to approach the application process any differently. Details are available at: http://www.ucop.edu/news/archives/2001/nov15art1.htm
Audio file - President Atkinson on comprehensive review
Audio file - Regent Lansing on comprehensive review

What future changes are possible

Dual Admissions program: The UC faculty and Board of Regents have approved a new program first proposed by UC President Richard C. Atkinson to expand upon the Eligibility in the Local Context program. Under the new "Dual Admissions" program, the top 4 percent to 12.5 percent of students in each California high school will be granted admission to UC, provided they first complete a transfer program at a community college. This policy will take effect as soon as funding for the program is secured. For more information on the new policy, go to: http://www.ucop.edu/news/archives/2001/july19art2.htm
Audio file - President Atkinson on dual admissions

Revised use of standardized tests: The University of California faculty’s Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools (BOARS) has issued a proposal [http://www.ucop.edu/news/sat/boars.html] for the use of tests in UC freshman admissions. The proposal will be reviewed by faculty systemwide during the spring of 2002 and, if endorsed by the faculty, will be submitted to the UC Board of Regents for approval. For now, all students considering applying to UC should continue to take the full battery of standardized tests required for UC eligibility and admission, however. For now, all students considering applying to UC should continue to take the full battery of standardized tests required for UC eligibility and admission, however. Current test requirements are at: http://www.ucop.edu/pathways/infoctr/introuc/fresh.html#exam
Audio file - President Atkinson on the SAT

Other useful links

For more information on applying to the University of California, please see these sites.

Pathways, the online UC application center:

$&SENSE@UC, a guide to an affordable UC education:

Answers for Transfers, a guide to navigating the transfer process:

California Notes, a publication for counselors and teachers:


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