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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) announced new admissions policies and are committing to hold harmless students entering their universities. 

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and State Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond plan to release additional guidance on grading for K-12 Local Educational Agencies. In the meantime, they have emphasized that high school seniors will continue to graduate if they are already on track, and higher education institutions will provide flexibility to prevent students from being disadvantaged this year and in the future. Here are some of those provisions.

University of California 

On April 1, the UC Office of the President announced measures to relax undergraduate admissions requirements to “mitigate some of the extraordinary challenges students and their families face.” These measures include: 

  • Suspending the letter grade requirement for A-G courses completed in winter/spring/summer 2020 for all students, including UC’s most recently admitted freshmen. 
  • Suspending the standardized test requirement for students applying for fall 2021 freshman admission. 
  • Providing that there will be no rescission of student admissions offers that result from students or schools missing official final transcript deadlines, and student retention of admission status through the first day of class until official documents are received by campuses. 
  • UC credit for 2020 modified AP exams completed with scores of 3, 4 or 5, consistent with previous years.

California State University 

CSU released its amended admissions policies, providing an overview of key changes based on student grade levels. It is posted on ACSA’s webpage.

For incoming college freshmen: 

  • Accepting transcripts for incoming freshmen through the fall 2020 term, and will accept unofficial or self-reported data due to extend school closures.
  • Assessing and initially placing students in first-year English/math based on multiple measures: high school college courses completed, GPAs and test scores (SBAC, ACT, SAT) that students have submitted thus far. 

For high school juniors: 

  • CSU “recommends” all students enroll in a yearlong, senior-year English course and a mathematics/quantitative reasoning course.
  • CSU is still determining the appropriate path forward for edibility criteria for fall 2021 applicants regarding the indefinite suspension of the ACT/SAT examinations.

For students in grades 8-10: 

  • Accepting “credit” or “pass” to satisfy A-G requirements completed during winter, spring, or summer 2020 terms.  All prior coursework must be graded and a grade C- or better for the course to satisfy A-G requirements. 
  • Grades of credit/pass or no credit/non-passing will not be included in the calculation of high school GPA.