The University of California just announced several changes to admissions requirements due to these extraordinary circumstances. Most notably are that ACT/SAT tests will not be required for the class of 2021 and that grades are not required for this semester (spring semester 2020) to meet A-G requirements. See the full update below.
What's not clear is how they will now evaluate/compare applicants and how students who submit tests will be compared with those who don't. Remember, the selective UC campuses get well over 100k applicants for just 10k or so spots. What's clear to me is for this year's junior class, those AP/rigorous classes and GPA become even more important, and last semester's grades will hold much weight. I don't recommend students take this as an invitation to slack off during online schooling. While students will not be held accountable if their high schools move to pass/fail grading for classes this semester or if their grades slip, students who thrive during this pandemic can only have an advantage in the admissions process. It will showcase their grit and perseverance. Also, the UCs require 4 essays, so those extracurricular activities, leadership, community service, talent, etc. are going to hold more weight now than ever.
Click here to read the official UC Press Release.
Click here to access the UC's FAQ
Official Counselor Update
As measures to combat COVID-19 have closed schools, cancelled standardized tests and upended nearly every aspect of students’ education, students and their families are understandably worried about whether those changes will hurt their college prospects.
The University of California has taken steps to ensure that students can strive for and attain a world-class UC education, despite disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Tuesday, March 31, the university announced that it has temporarily relaxed its admissions standards for both newly admitted students and prospective high school and community college students to account for changes in instruction methods, grading and administration of standardized tests.
UC campuses will provide maximum flexibility to students who need more time to meet registration, deposit and transcript deadlines. The university also expects to work with students to adjust financial aid packages if family financial circumstances have suddenly changed.
To serve students and their families during this crisis, UC has enacted the following temporary measures, which are explained in detail in an online FAQ.
For more information, please see the press release and the Undergraduate Admissions COVID-19 page.