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.
At this point, the process by which UC will select
its entering class for fall 2002 is the same as the process that
was used for fall 2001. But some possible changes are under discussion.
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
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 tests 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/
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/ucophome/commserv/access/welcome.html
What future changes are possible
Revised campus admission criteria: Currently,
UC campuses admit 50-75 percent of the freshman class on the basis
of certain academic criteria alone. The rest of the class is admitted
on academic criteria plus additional factors, such as extracurricular
accomplishments, special talents, unusual leadership or intellectual
qualities, and accomplishments in the context of disadvantaged circumstances.
The UC faculty is now considering a proposal in which the campuses
would evaluate all students on a full range of criteria. Changes
could take effect for the fall 2002 admission cycle. A decision
is likely by November 2001.
Dual Admissions program: UC President Richard
C. Atkinson has proposed a new program that is an extension of the
Eligibility in the Local Context program. Under the "Dual Admissions"
proposal, the top 4 percent to 12.5 percent of students in each
California high school would be granted admission to UC, provided
they first complete a transfer program at a community college. This
proposal is awaiting a vote by the Board of Regents this summer.
If approved, this program could be implemented for the entering
class of fall 2003.
Revised use of standardized tests: President
Atkinson has proposed that UC no longer require the SAT I test for
freshman applicants. He has called for the development of new tests
that are more closely linked to the high school curriculum; in the
meantime, under President Atkinson's proposal, UC would use the
SAT II achievement tests. This proposal is being reviewed by the
UC faculty. All students applying for fall 2002 should continue
to take the full battery of standardized tests required for UC eligibility
and admission. Any changes, if adopted, would not be implemented
before the fall 2003 admissions cycle, at the earliest. Current
test requirements are at: http://www.ucop.edu/pathways/infoctr/introuc/fresh.html#exam
Other useful links
For more information on applying to the University
of California, please see these sites.
Pathways, the online UC application center:
$&SENSE, a guide to an affordable UC education:
Answers for Transfers, a guide to navigating the
California Notes, a publication for counselors