FAQ about Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC) for the University of California (UC)

Each spring, California high school juniors, who are likely within the top 20% academically in their class, are invited to submit their official high school transcripts to the University of California (UC) for their potential Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC) status when applying for admissions. 

  • What is ELC
    • The designation of any California high school student who:
      • Completed a specific set of 11 UC-approved courses before starting the senior year, AND
      • Have a UC-calculated GPA (based on grades from summer 10th and 11th grade courses, including summer courses after 11th grade) that is equal to or greater than the top 9% GPA benchmark set by the UC for their particular high school.
    • The 11 UC approved academic courses are:
      • History — 1 year
      • English — 2 years
      • Mathematics — 2 years [which can include high school level courses taken during middle school]
      • Science — 1 year
      • Language Other than English — 1 year [which can include high school level courses taken during middle school]
      • Other A-G courses — 4 years [typically college prep electives]
  • How the GPA is set for each high school
    • Every other year, the UC ELC GPA is reset for each high school. However, the schedule including which high schools are resetting the ELC eligibility GPA is not published. 
    • Since in the 2019-20 school year many high schools unilaterally implemented Pass/No Pass grading scales and students had the option to retroactively change grades to Pass/No Pass marks, UC ELC GPA’s may or may not account for the adjustments in GPA. 
  • What ELC means for applicants? 
    • While UC admissions officers note that students’ academically rose to the top 9% of their graduating class, ELC status is not a guarantee of admissions to a UC campus of their choice or any UC campus.
    • CAVEAT: for students in a specialized academic program within their high school, like an International Baccalaureate program, their UC ELC eligibility is often determined by a UC eligible GPA of peers in the program, not the general senior class

Lastly, there is no downside for parents to permit their student’s transcripts to be evaluated by the UC for potential ELC status. If a student receives ELC designation, they’ll be notified after submitting their UC application and determine what action to take next, if any.

Jill Yoshikawa EdM, a proud UC San Diego Alumna, counsels middle school and high school freshmen, sophomore, and junior families about eligibility for college admissions and how to navigate the complex matrix of requirements, in order to maximize their investment in their children’s college education

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About Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Partner of Creative Marbles Consultancy

Jill Yoshikawa, EdM, Harvard ’99, a seasoned, 25 year educator and consultant, is meticulous in helping clients navigate all aspects of the educational experience, no matter the level of complexity. She combines educational theory with experience to advise families, schools and educators. A UCSD and Harvard graduate, as well as a former high school teacher, Jill works tirelessly to help her clients succeed.
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