The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the University of California System is considering changes to its admissions policies that would “de-emphasize test scores and give the system’s nine undergraduate campuses greater flexibility in choosing their freshman classes.” The plan was proposed by faculty leaders concerned that an over-emphasis on student test scores disqualifies capable and deserving low-income and minority students from being admitted to UC campuses.
Since the 1960s, California’s premier public-university system has promised admission to at least one of its campuses to the top 12.5 percent of the state’s high-school graduates, as determined primarily by grades and test scores. Under the faculty plan, the proportion of students who are guaranteed a spot would be reduced to about the top 10 percent. The remaining spots would go to students chosen by individual campuses, which would more closely consider applicants’ personal backgrounds.
The changes may not impact top UC campuses — such as Berkeley and UCLA — because those schools already employ a comprehensive review of each student’s application and they are highly selective institutions.
Mark Yudof, the new president of the UC System, recently arrived from Texas, says that he is “sympathetic on the merits” of the proposal but wants to see more details.