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COVID-19: College Updates

Current Information

Colleges & Universities are working on updates for the incoming Freshmen class, as well as the high school class of 2021 admissions cycle.

Please check individual college/university websites for the most up to date information.

AS OF APRIL 14, 2020

Exam Credit

Advanced Placement (AP) credit:

The College Board recently announced changes to the AP exam format for spring 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. For this year only, AP exams will be administered in 45-minute online format which students will take from home. The exams will include material that most high schools would have covered through early March. Despite the shortened exam format and reduced content, UC recognizes the effort that students have already applied in these challenging courses and will continue to award UC credit consistent with previous years for 2020 AP exams completed with scores of 3, 4, or 5.

Waitlist information

Information for freshmen:

Fall-term freshman applicants who received waitlist offers have an opt-in deadline of April 15. 

Students can accept waitlist offers from multiple campuses, but can only accept one offer of admission.

Even if a student accepts a waitlist offer at a UC campus, that student should submit a Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) to ensure a place to attend in the fall.

Waitlisted students:

Students who accept a UC admission offer from the waitlist and have already submitted a SIR at another UC campus must cancel their SIR at the campus which they no longer plan to attend. The SIR deposit is non-refundable and non-transferable.

For contact information so students can advise a UC campus to cancel their SIR go here.

Admitted student resources

We recognize that visiting campus is an important factor for students and their families in making their choice about where to attend college. 

In light of the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, UC campuses have transitioned from in-person events and programs to virtual and online formats. 

All campuses are planning a wide array of opportunities for admitted students including virtual open houses, live chats, webinars, phone/text campaigns, and social media events. 

Admitted students have several steps to complete in the enrollment process after submitting the SIR. Submitting documents, knowing when to expect a Financial Aid offer, and learning about summer programs are important parts of the process.

For more information on the enrollment process  UC provides the Next Steps from Admission to Enrollment for Freshmen.

Housing options are available for both freshmen and transfers. Here is more information on deadlines, options for family housing, and links to housing sites for each campus. 

UC Berkeley: Admission Office | Admitted Student website | Counselor Information 

UC Davis: Admission Office | Freshman Decision Day | Transfer Decision Day | Virtual Tour

UC Irvine: Admission Office | Celebrate UCI Day | Virtual Tour

UC Los Angeles: Admission Office | Bruin Bound | Virtual Tours

UC Merced: Admission Office | Webinars and Videos | Virtual Tours

UC Riverside: Admission Office | Highlander Day | Virtual Tours

UC San Diego: Admission Office | Triton Day | Transfer Triton Day | Virtual Tour

UC Santa Barbara: Admission Office | Webinars and Online Events | Virtual Tour

UC Santa Cruz: Admission Office | Admitted Student website | Virtual Tour

Financial Aid Updates

Financial Aid Award Offers:

Students who have been admitted to the University of California have most likely received financial aid offers. But what does it all mean, right? There are some key elements that students should look for when reviewing financial aid award offers and determining how much a school is going to cost:

  • The cost of attendance – This is the estimate of the total cost to attend a school for one academic year, including not only tuition and fees, but living expenses as well.  Remember most California students don’t pay the full cost of attendance to attend UC and that is because of the second item in this list, Gift Aid.
  • Gift Aid – This is a category of financial aid awards that students do not have to pay back and are usually called either Grants or Scholarships. Students should think of these funds as a discount on the cost of attendance.  Over 70% of California students attending UC receive grants and scholarships to help reduce their costs. By subtracting these amounts from the cost of attendance, a student can determine the best estimate of what their education costs will be for the year. We refer to this as your “Net Cost”. Net cost can be partially and sometimes fully paid for by the next two items.
  • Loans – The federal government offers students low interest rate loans to help cover educational costs. Nearly 58% of California students take out student loans and, on average graduate with $10,000 less in loans than the national average to complete their degree. Loans are also offered to parents in the form of a Federal PLUS Loan.
  • Work or Work-study – Work-study may also be something that a student sees in their financial aid award offer and can be used to cover a portion of a student’s net costs. In order to utilize this offer, students must secure a qualified position. If a student is not offered work-study, but would like to be considered, they should contact their campus financial aid office. With or without a work-study offer, UC assumes that students will work part-time in order to help with their educational costs. It’s recommended that students work 20 hours or less during the academic year.

Something students will not see on their financial aid offer is private/outside scholarships. Your students can greatly reduce your need to work and borrow by receiving private/outside scholarships.  So advise them to take this time to research and apply for as many private scholarships that they can.

Changing Financial Circumstances:

We understand that students and their families may be financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic now or in the coming months. Students and families who believe that their situation has changed significantly and who would like to have their financial aid reconsidered should do these three things:

  1. Utilize the campus financial aid calculators to determine if the change in their family’s finances would affect the amount of financial aid they are eligible to receive.
  2. If the calculator shows a change in financial aid eligibility they should contact the financial aid office at the campus they are planning to attend to get information on their appeal process.
  3. For the best information on how to reach their campus’s financial aid office they should check the student portal or on the financial aid website. Campuses will respond to students by email, telephone, or with virtual counseling sessions.

Re-evaluations of financial aid are likely to occur later this summer. Please remind your students that these evaluations are done on a case by case basis and that process requirements can vary from campus to campus.

Dates and Deadlines

May 1: Freshman SIR deadline

July 1: Official Transcripts Due


UC temporarily eases admissions requirements in response to educational disruptions

As measures to combat COVID-19 have closed schools, cancelled standardized tests and upended nearly every aspect of students’ education, students and their families are understandably worried about whether those changes will hurt their college prospects.

The University of California has taken steps to ensure that students can strive for and attain a world-class UC education, despite disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Tuesday, March 31, the university announced that it has temporarily relaxed its admissions standards for both newly admitted students and prospective high school and community college students to account for changes in instruction methods, grading and administration of standardized tests.

UC campuses will provide maximum flexibility to students who need more time to meet registration, deposit and transcript deadlines. The university also expects to work with students to adjust financial aid packages if family financial circumstances have suddenly changed.

To serve students and their families during this crisis, UC has enacted the following temporary measures, which are explained in detail in an online FAQ
  • UC has temporarily suspended the letter grade requirement for A-G courses completed in spring 2020 for both prospective and admitted students. For transfer students, the university has relaxed the cap on Pass/No Pass courses eligible for transfer to enter UC as a junior.  

  • UC will suspend the standardized test requirement (SAT and ACT) for students applying for fall 2021 freshman admission. This modification is not intended as an admissions policy shift but is rather a temporary accommodation driven by the current extraordinary circumstances. 

  • The deadline for students to accept their admissions offers remains May 1 for freshmen and June 1 for transfer students. However, the university has asked campuses to provide maximum flexibility for students who request extensions. Students should contact campus admissions offices directly with these requests.  

  • UC will also provide flexibility to students and schools who are unable to submit transcripts by July 1. No student’s admission offer will be rescinded for missing the deadline.  

  • Despite changes to the format and content of AP exams this term, the university will continue to award credit for exams with scores of 3, 4 or 5.  

For more information, please see the press release and the Undergraduate Admissions COVID-19 page. 

CSU Updates for current High School Students

For the most up to date guidance from CSU regarding current High School students - First Time Freshmen (or future Freshmen), please visit the CSU Apply webpage on High School Guidance.

College Board canceled the May 2 AND June 6 administrations of the SAT but have pledged that once this virus has run its course, they are going to offer testing.

Future SAT Administrations:

If it’s safe from a public health standpoint, weekend SAT administrations will be provided every month through the end of the calendar year, beginning in August. This includes a new SAT administration in September and the previously scheduled tests on August 29, October 3, November 7, and December 5.

Students can register for these administrations starting in May. College Board will contact students directly when they have the exact date. Eligible students can register with a fee waiver.

For each administration, College Board is preparing to significantly expand their capacity for students to take the SAT once schools reopen. They are calling on their member schools and colleges, as well as local communities, to provide additional test center capacity so every student who wants to take the SAT can do so.

Students can get early access to register for August, September, and October if they’re:

  • Already registered for June
  • In the high school class of 2021 and don’t have SAT scores

For further details, head to the College Board's Natural Disasters webpage.  

The next ACT national test dates are June 13 and July 18. 

ACT has rescheduled its April 4 national test date to June 13. 

All students registered for the April 4 test received an email from ACT informing them of the postponement and instructions for free rescheduling to June 13 or a future national test date. 

Students who can’t or don’t wish to reschedule may receive a refund of their April registration fee. 

ACT is committed to making every effort to help students impacted by this test date change, particularly seniors facing college application deadlines for this fall. ACT will release more information as it becomes available in the days ahead.  

For further details head to the ACT's Covid-19 updates webpage.