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UC System Is Relaxing Admissions Requirements Due To COVID-19. How Will That Work?




Students walk near Sather Gate on the University of California at Berkeley campus February 24, 2005 in Berkeley, California.
Students walk near Sather Gate on the University of California at Berkeley campus February 24, 2005 in Berkeley, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Responding to the unprecedented shift to remote learning and other challenges to education caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the University of California is temporarily suspending its core admissions requirements for students seeking to enroll.

The decision by the UC Board of Regents takes a big weight off the shoulders of high school seniors, especially those who have been unable to fully access online courses. Universities can and often do withdraw admissions offers when seniors' grades fall. In a dramatic shift from past standards, the UC system suspended the requirement to submit a score from a standardized test, like the ACT or SAT, for students submitting applications for fall 2021 enrollment. The university emphasized that the change is not permanent. Use of standardized tests has drawn criticism from civil rights advocates who say they are biased in favor of students who can afford extensive test preparation. A lawsuit filed last fall is pending. And future use of testing requirements is still being considered by the school system. UC administrators have also suspended the requirement that admitted 12th graders earn at least a C in senior year classes in so-called A-G courses, which include history/social science, English, math, science, languages other than English, visual and performing arts courses, and college-prep electives. Today on AirTalk, we discuss how UC came to the decision to ease requirements and what impact it could have. Do you have thoughts or questions? Join the conversation by calling 866-893-5722. 

Read the full LAist story from Adolfo Guzman-Lopez here.

Guests:

Eddie Comeaux, professor of higher education at UC Riverside and chair of the Academic Senate committee (BOARS) that oversees undergraduate admission policies and practices throughout the UC system; he tweets @EddieComeaux

John A. Pérez, chair of the UC Board of Regents and speaker emeritus of the California Assembly; he tweets @JohnAPerez