The University of California (UC) will not require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores for first year admissions through the Fall of 2025, affecting students currently in grades 8-12 for the 2020-21 school year. Subjectivity in the admissions evaluations will likely increase, without the backstop of standardized test scores to compare other, less objective information, like extracurricular activity descriptions.
Yet, applicants can prepare for such subjectivity by understanding the 14 Comprehensive Review criteria UC readers will use in their admissions evaluations. According to UC guidance:
Comprehensive review allows UC campuses to use different aspects of the application—high school environment, academic and personal accomplishments, family environment, and other circumstances—to make more informed decisions about a particular student’s achievement in the context of opportunity and life experiences.UC Counselors Conference, September 2019
In other words, the UC evaluators will interpret a student’s qualifications for admissions, as best as possible within the context of their experience, allowing for the greatest diversity of applicants to be considered where no single applicant profile is more desired than another.
Thus, applicants have numerous opportunities to showcase their talents, including:
Completion of special projects undertaken in the context of a student’s high school curriculum or in conjunction with special school events, projects or programs.
As the Oxford Dictionary defines project as: “an individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim”, applicants can demonstrate their talents on their own or while working with others, inclusive of a range of experiences. Additionally, the UC has no prejudice for projects in either an academic, regardless of being created for a grade, or extracurricular context, so every applicant has the opportunity to showcase their acumen, in the forum which best suits their aptitude.
For more information about how Jill Yoshikawa, EdM, a proud University of California alumna, helps families navigate the complex college admissions process including the COVID-induced policy changes, reach us at Creative Marbles Consultancy