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Thursday, July 01, 2004
Berkeley Faculty Approves Raise In Admissions Standards
The Associated Press is reporting that Berkeley's faculty has approved a recommendation to the UC Board of Regents to raise graduation requirements. The issue will be now discussed and voted on by the Board. Proponents of the plan are aiming for a three-year process by which the GPA formula will be altered and the minimum GPA for admission will be raised.
However, unless a radical change is implemented, and the number of eligible students is cut in half, then this reform will be like putting a band-aid on a broken leg.
From the AP article (republished in the Contra Costa Times):
"Historically, UC has designed admissions criteria to capture the top 12.5 percent of in-state high school graduates. However, a study released in May found that 14.4 percent of graduates are qualifying... UC has revised admissions criteria several times, but the group of high school graduates who eventually enroll has remained constant at about 8 percent. That is largely because UC students typically come in with qualifications well above minimum standards."
Another interesting point from the article: the current minimum UC GPA is 2.8. That seems just a tad bit low, doesn't it? And this is calculated off of your best eight courses. A change like this is a long time coming, even while taking into consideration the fact that these minimum requirements service lower UC schools as well, like UC Riverside.
One alternative I have heard to this plan is to break the UC system into three tiers: Tier I (UCLA & UC Berkeley), Tier II (UCSB, UCI, UCSD), and Tier III (UC Davis, UCSC, UCR, UC Merced), each with its own minimal requirements. It would allow for more realistic and more equitable minimal admission requirements for each school. Its biggest drawback, though, is that it would make affirmative action or wholistic review much more difficult to apply in Tier I schools, and minority/lower class students much more likely to land in Tier II and III schools. It would, however, open the door to more out-of-state and international students.
Another concept I have been introduced to, regarding GPA calculation, is to use an averaged GPA (grades 10-12) of both weighted and unweighted GPAs. This way, students are still rewarded for taking AP classes, but the GPA inflation we are seeing now in high schools is reduced, and high schools without large AP programs are not penalized as much.Email This Post!
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