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U.C. changes

Cynthia E. Griffin- | 2/11/2009, 5 p.m.

Los Angeles, CA - California high school freshmen who complete at least 11 of the 15 required University of California college preparatory courses by the end of their junior year, obtain a grade point of average of at least 3.0 and take either the ACT with Wiring or the SAT Reasoning Examination will now be entitled to a "full and comprehensive" review of their application at each U.C. campus to which they apply.

Additionally, those who meet these minimum qualifications and fall into the top 9% of all high school graduates in the state or into the top 9% of their own school's graduating class are guaranteed admission to at least one U.C. campus in the system.

This new policy also eliminates the need for students to take the SAT subject examinations. The new requirements will affect students applying for admission in fall of 2012.

Currently, even if students have the grades and test scores to qualify for possible admission, they are deemed ineligible without the subject exam scores.

According to a U.C. spokesman these changes could potentially result in an additional 30,000 California high school students being eligible for the system's comprehensive review process.
This procedure was instituted several years ago, and can vary a bit depending on how each university implements it, but basically ensures that a list of 14 different factors are considered when applications are reviewed.

These go beyond pure academics and try to account for the different resources available at the state's high schools.

In addition to changing the eligibility requirements, the University of California Regents also modified the system's financial aid guidelines, and now will provide enough in grants and scholarships to cover system-wide fees for all students whose household income falls below $60,000 and meet other need-based requirements.

The new offering is call the Blue and Gold Opportunity plan, and U.C. Regents estimate the plan will extend to half of all California households.

The Blue and Gold plan is available to all students applying for admission in 2009-10. The students must be in their first four years of college (second two years for community college transfers).

Students do not need to apply for this, it is done automatically, if they apply for financial aid and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

After 2009-10, the regents will review the program annually to assess whether or not it is feasible to offer the plan.