Put Down Your #2 Pencils: The University of California Eliminates SAT/ACT Scores, Comprehensive Review, Part 6

While for many years, the University of California has utilized Comprehensive Review, comprised of 14 different criteria guiding admissions officers evaluations of applicants which already creates a degree of subjectivity, since SAT and ACT scores are optional starting in Fall 2021 and beyond, subjectivity in admissions may increase. To help applicants plan or revise their admissions strategy, in the sixth post of our series analyzing each of the 14 points, we’ll discuss: 

Identification by UC as being ranked in the top 9 percent of their high school class (“eligible in the local context,” or ELC).

The University of California, being a state funded entity, seeks to preserve higher education opportunities for California residents, as written into the “California Master Plan for Higher Education which states that the top 12.5 percent of public high school graduates will be considered UC-eligible.” 

To create fairness in admissions, the UC admissions officers contextualize an applicants achievements and academic performance within the the context of their high school, or “Eligible in the Local Context” (ELC). Since academic opportunities vary depending on the high school, when students are considered amongst their immediate peers and the curriculum of their own high school, then their achievements can be more accurately evaluated, rather than possibly diminished or inflated if compared to students who performed in different circumstances at other high schools. 

ELC status is dependent on a student’s Grade Point Average (GPA). A baseline GPA for each high school is established and reestablished periodically, when the next graduating class are solicited to submit their transcripts for evaluation at the UC. Each year, to determine if a student is ELC or not, seniors, whom the high school counseling staff identify as potentially within the top 9% of the graduating class, are invited to submit their transcripts for review. 

After submitting a UC application, students are automatically considered for ELC status, which is added to the student’s UC application file. While ELC status is not a guarantee of admissions to the University of California or a particular UC campus, the additional recognition of an applicant’s academic qualifications is beneficial. 

So, high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors can plan accordingly and know that doing homework and maintaining the highest grades possible can be helpful if they eventually apply to the University of California. 


For more information about how Jill Yoshikawa, EdM, a proud University of California alumna, can help students and parents navigate the complex college admissions process, even more complicated as admissions processes change for Fall 2021, contact us at Creative Marbles Consultancy

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