UC’s new eligibility policy (pay attention, freshmen)

The Regents of the University of California recently voted to change the eligibility policy. Some people hailed the change as a step in the positive direction while others criticized the decision.

My friend and fellow higher education nerd (er, scholar), Oiyan, breaks down the changes to be implemented for the fall 2012 class (or today’s freshmen):

  • By the end of your junior year, you need to be done with 11 of 15 college prep courses. Like I said before… get thee to your guidance counselor!
  • Just like before, you’ll have to maintain a weighted GPA of at least 3.0. So take lots of honors and AP courses!
  • Take the ACT writing test OR the SAT reasoning test. That’s right… no more SAT subject tests, unless you want to be a superstar and take some anyway. The UC will still look at them, and think, “Wow! Super Achiever! We’ll count these tests like we count AP test scores.”

(Emphasis mine)

Oiyan’s six part series is a candid and snarky conversation with Asian Americans (and conservative pundits) concerned about how the new eligibility policy could hurt their respective communities. So far, she’s posted parts one, two, three and four. I assume parts five and six will be posted soon.


5 thoughts on “UC’s new eligibility policy (pay attention, freshmen)

  1. “So take lots of honors and AP courses!” Does this seem like the most logical thing to do? Granted, I’m all for students enrolling in honors and AP, but to suggest they stack them up for the sake of a (possibly) higher GPA, that can overwhelm students who might not be prepared to take multiple AP or Honors courses, right? Eh, I didn’t major in Education. Just a thought.
    It’s all irrelevant. We’ll all be dead by 2012.

  2. Steve,
    A rigorous schedule (lots of honors and AP) courses would be quite logical if you’re trying to get in to one of the more selective UCs. If your school offers plenty of those courses and you only take non H/AP but do well, you’ll be a less competitive applicant than the kid who took some H/AP and got A-‘s or B’s. Also, I believe some campuses cap the number of H/AP courses that will be weighted. So, you’ll get the extra “point bump” for up to 8 semesters of H/AP. Anything more than that will be unweighted. In high school, I typically took 3-4 H/AP on a six course schedule. I didn’t take science, math, band or PE for H/AP credit.

  3. spam fried rice says:

    good point, steve… one of the other problems i have with stacking up on ap/honors classes is that some schools have a ton and others have only like 3. so the eligibility policy still privileges students at wealthier schools.

  4. Steve,
    This may be too nerdy for you, but UC Berkeley got sued because of the honors/AP GPA bump. This is from a report I co-auhored on on UC admissions

    According to the Rios suit, Berkeley’s admissions process created a preference for whites in two ways: gave bonus points to high school students taking AP classes; and “relied in a determinative and exclusionary way on insignificant differences in standardized test scores.” The “GPA bump” favored white students and others from wealthier backgrounds because they had greater access to Advanced Placement courses. The Rios suit also challenged the reliance on SAT scores because, as discussed above, they offer little value for predicting a student’s success in the freshman year at a UC campus (Geiser, 2001; UCOP, 2001).

    I believe some may have even considered eliminating the GPA bump altogether.

  5. Joann says:

    GPA bump favored white students?? Correction– favor rich students. It might be true 30 years ago, but not anymore. White students are not equal to rich students. And, not all minority students are poor.

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