Coronavirus prompts University of California to ease admissions process

COVID-19 has forced schools to move online or end their semesters completely

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The University of California is easing its admissions process due to the coronavirus pandemic. The move will affect fall 2020 and future semesters, per a school statement.

The short-term measures include suspending letter-grade requirements for A-G courses completed in certain terms; suspending standardized test requirements for would-be freshmen applying for fall 2021; preventing the repeal of student admission offers that result from missed final transcript deadlines; and temporarily suspending the cap on the number of transferable units with “Pass/No Pass” grading for transfer applicants.

The 23-campus UC system is still requesting that final transcripts be submitted by July 1, according to the statement, but officials said students and schools who cannot meet that deadline can notify UC administration and include a new estimated time of arrival.

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“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 Board of Regents, the governing board for UC, said in the statement. “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.”

Despite the College Board’s recent changes to Advanced Placement exams and formats for spring 2020, UC will still award class credit for 2020 AP exams with a 3 or higher.

“The goal of these changes is to ensure a fair process that does not affect the life chances of students who, but for the coronavirus pandemic, would have become full-time students at the University of California,” said Kum-Kum Bhavnani, chair of the Academic Senate.

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, the Academic Senate agreed to provisionally suspend several admission regulations at the request of Han Mi Yoon-Wu, who is the director of undergraduate admissions at the UC Office of the President.

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“With such grave disruption in the education system, administrators are seeking flexibility where possible under these untenable conditions,” Yoon-Wu wrote in a March 20 letter to Eddie Comeaux, the head of the Academic Senate committee that oversees undergraduate admission, according to the Times. He noted that the pandemic has caused an “unprecedented and growing number of school closures” and has forced institutions to confront unforeseen challenges.

A number of schools across the country have been forced to shut their doors and move online as a result of the outbreak. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Middlebury College in Vermont and Wellesley College in Massachusetts, for example, have gone digital and even said their online courses will be graded more leniently.

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Berea College in Kentucky, on the other hand, canceled classes for the remainder of the year and offered a $1,000 refund for students who moved out of campus housing.

The UC did not immediately respond to a request for comment from FOX Business.

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