The above letter is a response from Han Mi Yoon-Wu, Director of Undergraduate Admissions for the University of California Office of the President, after I emailed both UC President Janet Napolitano and the UC Board of Regents to request a response to my recent Open Letter to the University of California.
I’m sharing Ms. Yoon-Wu’s response to help parents and other educators understand the significant change in UC admissions policies, so students can make more informed decisions about their college plans.
For those of you who can’t read the image, the text of Ms. Yoon-Wu’s letter is as follows:
Dear Ms. Yoshikawa,
Your email of Apil 8, 2020 was forwarded to me for response on behalf of President Janet Napolitano and the Board of Regents, regarding the University of California admissions response to the COVID-19 pandemic impacts on prospective college students.
We appreciate your demonstrated commitment to education and student advocacy, and want you to know that we continue to seek solutions that best serve our constituencies. As you are aware, COVID-19 mitigation efforts across the globe have caused unprecedented disruption throughout our educational systems. Institutions have been forced to make abrupt shifts in their teaching modalities and assessments, and students are challenged to adapt quickly amidst a rapidly changing landscape.
UC recognizes the challenges students and families face in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and has temporarily relaxed some undergraduate admissions policies to ensure high school and transfer students are not penalized by their inability to earn letter grades for academic classes or take standardized tests during the pandemic disruption. The current actions by UC are aimed to provide a careful and timely response to families, educators, and administrators who are overwhelmed by the current emergency.
The University will continue discussions in further advocacy for students and their families through this unprecedented time, so that each student has a fair chance to strive for and attain a UC education. We understand that questions will continue to surface; thus, we will continue to update our online FAQs, and provide answers as they become available. Questions may also be submitted to AskUC@ucop.edu. In the meanwhile, rest assured that under our Comprehensive Review policy, the full extent of each applicant’s academic and personal accomplishments will be taken into consideration within the context of the opportunities that are available to that student. No single factor plays a deciding role in how an applicant is evaluated. Campuses will continue to review and consider every piece of information shared via the UC application. As such, test scores do not form the basis of an admission decision, but test scores can be considered as an additional piece of value-added information. If students have scores, they are encouraged, not required, to submit them, as they can be used to determine statewide UC eligibility, application for certain scholarships, and may help fulfill some University graduation requirements.
Thank you for sharing in concern for prospective college students and their families.
Han Mi Yoon-Wu
Director of Undergraduate Admissions
In a forthcoming post, I’ll share additional commentary, analyzing the University of California’s response, as well as our forecasts for how the UC admissions policy may affect Class of 2021 applicants.