Corona virus effects: UC eases the admission requirements, no SAT

Apr 1, 2020 10:30 PM ET

The University of California announced on Wednesday that it will significantly simplify some admission requirements for fall 2020 and beyond by removing SAT test results and minimum grades. The “serious disruption” of schools during the coronavirus crisis requires maximum flexibility in evaluating students.

The move, which has been approved by the heads of the UC Board of Regents, will ease the admission process for more than 200,000 freshmen and transfer students who apply annually to the UC system’s nine bachelor locations, but are now studying under dramatically different conditions – and very stressful for many – circumstances.

These students may not meet the admission requirements for UC this year because their high schools or community colleges have switched to online classes with varying degrees of success, pass / fail rating systems, or reduced courses.

In addition, it can be difficult to get standardized test results because the test dates for many required tests, including SAT and ACT, high school exams and for international students assessing English language skills, are canceled or postponed.

“The COVID 19 outbreak is a historic catastrophe that disrupts every aspect of our lives, including student education,” said UC President Janet Napolitano in a statement. “The flexibility of the university during this crucial time will ensure that potential students targeting UC get a complete and fair shot regardless of their current challenges.”

California State University, with 23 locations, was expected to take similar measures for applicants, which was approximately 363,000 last year.

“We owe it to our students to ensure that we support them in a fair process,” said Eddie Comeaux, chair of the UC Senate Committee, which oversees all student admission policies and practices. “We want to ensure temporary flexibility and understand that some requirements may not be met due to serious family or personal issues, or that a school may choose to cancel certain courses or change the assessment format.”

The academic senate agreed to temporarily suspend several admissions requirements at the request of Han Mi Yoon-Wu, director of admissions for students in the President’s UC office. “With such serious disruptions in the education system, administrators are looking for flexibility under these unsustainable conditions,” Yoon-Wu wrote in a letter to Comeaux on March 20.

The changes to the admission requirements include:

Suspension of the grade for the 15 mandatory college prep courses completed in winter / spring / summer 2020 for all students, including those most recently admitted to UC
Suspension of the standardized test requirement for students applying for admission to new students in autumn 2021.
No revocation of admission offers for schoolchildren due to the fact that schoolchildren or schools have not complied with the official final transcription deadlines. In addition, admission is recognized until the first day of the course, until the official documents arrive on campus.
In the case of transfer students, the upper limit for the number of transferable units is temporarily suspended, with the pass / no pass assessment being applied to the minimum of 60 semesters / 90-quarter units required for junior standing.

Yoon-Wu noted that efforts to curb the coronavirus pandemic have resulted in an “unprecedented and growing number of school closures” that have forced institutions to face countless challenges as they abruptly switch to distance learning.

The uncertainty is global, she said, noting that students studying abroad may not be able to obtain the credentials required for admission to the UC due to mandatory testing in countries such as the UK, Pakistan, France and Germany have been disturbed or likely to be disturbed and Italy.

“This period of uncertainty, as predicted by the COVID-19 situation, is having a major impact on our previously committed student pipeline to UC, to undergraduate California residents, California Community college transfers, and national and international non-residents belong, “she wrote. “The academic review process … and enrollments are significantly affected.”

UC Council of Regency chairman John A. Pérez and Maria Anguiano, chairman of the Academic and Student Affairs Committee, approved the temporary waiver of admission requirements.

“We want to help alleviate the tremendous disturbances and fears that prospective students are already overwhelmed by COVID-19,” said Pérez in a statement. “By removing artificial barriers and reducing stress factors – including discontinuing the use of the SAT – for this unprecedented moment, we hope that our future students will have less worry.”

Napolitano said in her board approval application that students can continue to submit standardized test results that can support their nationwide UC eligibility, application for certain scholarships, and fulfillment of some college graduation requirements.

She said the campuses would adjust their admission test procedures “to ensure that no student will be hurt in the selection of admissions if he fails to submit a test result.”

The suspension of standardized test requirements for applicants was “intended as accommodation and not as a permanent change in policy, and does not preclude future policy actions by the Board of Directors regarding the use of standardized tests on university admissions for applicants in the fall of 2022 and beyond,” she said.

UC officials are currently debating whether to abolish UC’s SAT and ACT test requirements, and UC regents are expected to take action in May.

Comeaux said the academic senate would encourage students to submit standardized test results and other required documents, but would ask the campus to understand whether pandemic conditions were preventing them.

Comeaux also said he expects universities to accept the results of the advanced high school exams, although they will be significantly revised to recognize the switch to online learning and social distance practices.

The college board that owns the exams has announced that this year they will be an open book test at home and will only take 45 minutes, which is significantly shorter than the usual two to three hour duration. The test will only include material that most teachers covered by early March. Students typically receive college credit for the courses if they score 3 or more.

Admission directors at the UC campus say they want to fully accept the demand for flexibility in dealing with applicants affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Lisa Przekop, Admission Director of UC Santa Barbara, said that admitted students usually have to accept an admission offer by May 1 and submit official certificates by July documenting their self-reported grades. These deadlines are important so that the campus can start planning homework, orientations and other events.

Napolitano said these deadlines would remain, but students and schools will have no consequences if they are not met, and students will not be required to make a non-refundable deposit by May 1 if they fail to do so Location.

Przekop said UC Santa Barbara would use “maximum flexibility” to consider why some students might not meet these deadlines or meet other requirements.

“We have to give the students the benefit of the doubt,” she said. “I don’t want them to panic. We’re on your side.”

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