University of California drops admission requirements for fall 2020 class

The University of California recently announced it would drop admissions requirements for future freshmen applicants because of the coronavirus.

One expert is calling the decision an excuse to admit more students.

Students will no longer need to submit standardized test scores or meet certain letter grade requirements for admission.

The University of California announced it is dropping admissions requirements for the upcoming student applicant pool because of the coronavirus. The school announced the decision was made to help students and families facing challenges because of the virus. 

The changes include waiving standardized test and letter grade requirements for students applying for admission in the fall of 2020 and potentially beyond. Applicants were previously required to have completed high school courses on a traditional “A-G” letter grading scale, which UC now says is difficult because some high schools have moved to a pass/fail grading system. 

“We want to help alleviate the tremendous disruption and anxiety that is already overwhelming prospective students due to COVID-19,” John A. Pérez, chair of the UC Board of Regents said. “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.”

[RELATED: Harvard moves to ‘emergency’ grading during coronavirus pandemic]

UC President Janet Napolitano, who previously served as the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security in the Obama administration, supported the decision. 

“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.”

UC also announced it would extend the submission deadline for high school transcripts and temporarily waive the cap on pass/fail classes a transfer student can receive credit for.  

[RELATED: High school seniors yet to take ACT could face devastating reality this fall]

David Randall, the Director of Research at the National Association of Scholars, told Campus Reform that UC’s decision during the coronavirus pandemic is “just an excuse” to follow the pattern of other colleges and universities that were already dropping standardized testing requirements. 

“Since the UC system is presumably in a financial panic, this move will allow them to admit far more students, with associated Federal student loans and grants for tuition--and have an excuse for the accreditors, if loads of students then drop out and play hob with the UC retention rate,” Randall added. 

“The change suits UC’s financial interests, and will most likely result in many more unprepared students acquiring heavy debt for the privilege of flunking out of the UC system.”

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