Did you know that if you are in the top 9% of California high school students that the University of California (“UC”) guarantees you a seat if there is a seat available?
What’s the deal? You must:
1. Be a California resident*
2. Have at least a 3.6 weighted GPA in A-G and college preparatory courses**
3. Meet the criteria of the Statewide index.
4. Have not been accepted by any UC
5. If space is available
In olden days (a couple of years ago) the UC determined which students were in the top 9% of California high school students by combining GPA, the number of A-G courses completed or in progress, and SAT/ACT scores.
Since the UC dropped the standardized tests, they came up with a new formula which uses the total number of A-G courses and the student’s UC GPA. They put them on a Statewide index which shows the correlation between A-G courses and UC calculated GPA. For instance: if a student has a 4.25 GPA they will need at least 30 semeste
rs of A-G courses. For a 4.00-4.04 the number is 46 semesters (23 yearlong courses).
Students in the top 9% are guaranteed a seat at a UC if they haven’t already been accepted by one. The student cannot choose which UC they want to attend. If the student has already been accepted by a UC, the UC guarantee no longer applies for other UCs.
How do you figure this out?
Step 1: Count how many A-G courses the student has taken and will take in senior year.
This A-G total includes:
Each semester taken (so count as 2 for a year-long course)
7th and 8th grades math and foreign language are included
The total of A-G or college preparatory courses includes the courses a student plans to take in 12th grade
College courses taken during high school
Courses taken in after-school programs are not counted.
Students need to have at least 15 A-G courses to be eligible for the UC. Re
member 15 A-G equals 30 semesters. Check out the UC Admissions page for details
Step 2: Calculate your UC recognized GPA. There are all sorts of requirements and restrictions in calculating the UC GPA.
Only count grades in college preparatory courses taken between the summer after 9th grade through summer of 11th grade.
After-school courses are not usually counted as “college preparatory.”
You can add an “honor bump” for only 8 semesters between 10th and 11th grade.
They will only count 4 honors points from 10th grade. The rest must be in 11th.
Add up all your grades (no plusses or minuses), then divide that number by the number of A-G courses.
So, if you took two APs in 10th grade, and three APs or qualifying honors courses in 11th grade, that would equal a total of 10 honors points, of which you can only use 8 for this particular calculation.
To make life easier, I use a GPA calculator on a site called RogerHub. To use the calculator, count the number of As, Bs, Cs, Ds and put them in the calculator. Then count the number of UC recognized honors or AP courses after 9th grade with a maximum number of 8 semesters.
For example a student takes two APs in 10th grade, then earned 4 As and 1 B in the first semester, and 5 As in the second. As a junior the student takes 3 APs and earns the same number of As and Bs. This means you count 8 As and 2 Bs in 10th, and 9 As and 1 B in 11th. A total of 17 As and 2 Bs along with the maximum 8 semesters of honors points, The Weighted Capped UC GPA would be 4.32. Look at the statewide index and you’ll see the student needed a total of 30 A-G the same minimum number required by the UC for admissions. This student would be in the top 9% of California high school students.
* Who is a California resident: if you can answer yes to any of these criteria: attended high school in California for at least 3 years; lived in California for the last 12 months; under 19 with parent or legal guardian living in California
** A-G are courses recognized as college preparatory classes. The definition is incredibly detailed. Look at A-G on the UC Admissions pages
If you need any help figuring this out, please contact me.