AB 104 and the CSU/UC GPA

The state just passed AB 104 which allows students to opt for P/NP instead of a letter grade for the 20-21 school year. What if I choose to change all the Bs, Cs and Ds to P? Do you know how UCs and CSs will calculate their GPAs? My child was in 10th grade last year. Thanks

Did the student receive letter grades for 10th grade especially for 1st semester? and they currently in 11th and plan to take P for all grades lower than A?

CSU/UC GPA’s will be calculated on the a-g course requirements that receive a letter grade so how it impacts the GPA calculation depends upon how many courses will have letter grades and as of now no indication on how the CSU’s and UC’s will handle student transcripts with only a few or no letter grades.

This is what is stated on the UC website and unfortunately I have no inside information on how this will be handled. Please note that they encourage students that have received a letter grade to not change it.

My own personal feelings is that too many P/NP grades on the transcript will be a red flag for admissions and I would not opt for a P grade for a B grade or higher.

***Pass (P) or Credit (CR) grades earned in spring, summer, and fall 2020, as well as spring and summer 2021, will meet A-G requirements for any student who was enrolled in high school during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years. This includes students currently enrolled in 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grades.

Our campus admission offices are mindful of the many obstacles students and schools alike are currently facing. Nonetheless, UC strongly encourages potential applicants to take, whenever possible, A-G courses for letter grades, especially those in English and mathematics, as well as those in prospective major fields.
UC will continue to calculate the GPA for admission purposes using all A-G courses passed with letter grades in grades 10 and 11, including summer terms following grades 9, 10 and 11. Pass (P) or Credit (CR) grades earned in spring 2020 through summer 2021 will meet A-G subject requirements but will not be calculated in the GPA. Extra points in honors-level coursework will continue to be capped at 8 semesters of honors points in A-G courses completed with letter grades of A, B and C in grades 10 and 11.***


Thank you for that info. It’s really helpful.
Did the student receive letter grades for 10th grade especially for 1st semester?
Yes, she did. She’s now in 11th grade and we will need to take letter grades this year. AB 104 was applicable only for last school year as all CA public schools were closed for in person learning.

I guess if we choose to go with P/NP, we can’t go back? My D took 4 really hard AP classes last year as a sophomore and it hurt her grades tremendously. To me, a C in AP calculus for a sophomore is far better than a B in Spanish. Not sure how if the UCs would agree though…

In the UC information I posted, they seem to emphasize letter grades for English and Math, but 1 C should not have a huge impact however, since the UC’s have gotten increasingly competitive and heavily relying on GPA, it might be better to take a P. Cons: Taking a P in an AP class will not give her the extra honors points but how did she do on the AP exam?
Pro: A good score on the AP exam could validate the P?

Since the UC’s other than UCD have not posted their admit GPA range for this year’s incoming Freshman, it is hard to determine how much the test blind policy affected UC admissions this year. UCD’s admit GPA changed very little with the average down by 0.01 from the previous year. That said, I saw plenty of students with 4.0+ UC applicants that did not get into any or few UC schools this year so a difficult decision either way.


What you said makes a lot of sense. She did not pass the AP Cal exam so I think it’s a good idea to choose a P instead of a C. She took a full year course of Precalculus the summer before her sophomore year so she should have more than enough credits for math by the time she applies for college. Just to confirm, those classes taken the summer before 10th grade should be included in UC’s GPA, correct? She took those classes at a Cal State and they are on her transcripts. Thank you again for sharing your knowledge!

Yes a-g courses taken the summer prior to 10th will be included in the UC/CSU GPA.

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