UC Statewide Guarantee for top 9% of CA high school students

I was told they use uncapped. I spoke to the UC ELC coordinator at the office of the president.

I heard that the UC establishes a benchmark of what the top 9% at a HS is based on 3 years of transcripts.

Local path (ELC) | Counselors describes how the ELC benchmark GPA is determined.

I just confirmed with the school counselor that he does not qualify for the ELC from his school. It is very small and only 3 students will qualify, all with 4.0 GPA. The problem he faced all along was his relatively lower GPA due to a learning disability, which was good enough along with his 35 ACT to qualify him for the Statewide Guarantee, but not for the ELC. So it sounds like the person on the UC helpline had no clue what she was talking about and told me the wrong information. Based on this and jntwinmama’s comment about the same situation, I would say the the UC’s took the test info on the application, made promises to the kids based on the scores and gpa’s submitted, and now will be failing to follow through on those promises to offer them a spot. At some point they decided NOT to offer the Statewide Guarantee but never communicated that - just the opposite by confirming they had qualified. How much more screwed up can this year get? I’m so mad at all of this I want to scream!


I would be livid if I were you. I am sorry. I would attempt to make them follow through on their promise.

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I may be adding another wild goose chase @Pusheen1, but did you contact the ELC help desk or the folks at general admissions? There appears to be ELC contact info on the right side bar here that may have a better clue than the general helpline: Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC) Program | UCOP

As I mentioned previously, I heard that it was 3 years of transcript data of top 15% students in the HS to determine what the 9% benchmark is… Also, I understand that UC didn’t ask HSs this past summer to send in junior class transcripts because of COVID-19 per http://■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■/2020/04/covid-19-updates-for-incoming-uc-freshmen-and-transfers/#:~:text=Eligibility%20in%20the%20Local%20Context,Local%20Context%20(ELC)%20program.&text=The%20ELC%20process%20for%20high%20schools%20will%20resume%20in%202021.


I contacted the help number on the UC Applications page, not the ELC help desk. I will try the ELC desk but since he doesn’t qualify for ELC, not sure if it will matter. Interestingly, the ELC page you linked appears to still have erroneous information, as it talks about needing to submit test scores:

“To maintain the ELC status, the student must satisfy the general admissions requirements including the successful completion of the 15 required “a-g” courses, maintain a 3.0 GPA and submit an official copy of ACT with Writing or SAT Reasoning Test scores.”

Clearly someone is negligent with communicating correct information to applicants via website or phone.


I am so sorry your son is faced with this terrible situation!
Just wanted to point you to the University of New Mexico. They offer the amigo scholarship (in state tuition) for the following stats:
23 ACT (1130 SAT) and 3.5 Cumulative GPA or 26 ACT (1230 SAT) and 3.0 Cumulative GPA.
For best consideration: Admitted to UNM by April 1 for Fall semester, October 1 for Spring semester. So a little beyond the best consideration date, but probably still possible. Just a thought if you are open to this possibility.

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I remembered this thread and wanted to share that my son was offered to “opt in” to UC Merced today. I assume this was due to ELC. He did not apply to UC Merced. The email said we had till 4/18 to let them know.


Thank you for this info. So did you confirm that he was eligible through ELC with his high school, and not the statewide guarantee? How was he notified - by email or was something posted in the UC app portal? What is he planning to do? I’m glad to hear that there are spots being offered to some students.

Just found out my son got the same email offer this afternoon for UC Merced. Have to “opt in” by 4/18. Since I have confirmed with his school that he did not qualify under ELC, then they must be using the Statewide Guarantee as he was confirmed for upon application submission, even though the UC App helpline said they weren’t using it. They really have caused a lot of confusion based on giving out wrong information, but glad to know they are in fact following through on their commitment. I don’t know if my son is interested, but at least it’s an option to stay in-state. What is your son going to do?


I don’t think he’s interested, but it’s nice to have the option. He had to go to a track meet right after getting the email so we didn’t have time to discuss it much.

@Pusheen1. Just out of curiousity, are they offering his choice major or another major?

My D21 got the email today. Merced does not have her major, so it’s useless for her. She wants to be a teacher.

It doesn’t say in the email so I’d have to look into it more. He was applying for CS everywhere, and they offer CS & Engineering as the major, not CS, but close. So I don’t know if that means he’d automatically be accepted into CS & E. They are offering an info session next week to find out more.

They have limited the majors for the Count me in program so that is why I asked if they listed the major he could apply for in the email.

It doesn’t say in the email, but there is a link to an FAQ page and this is what is says there:
Can I select a major?
Yes, selecting a preferred major is one of the advanced steps in the online submission process. We encourage you to further explore our academic offerings at admissions.ucmerced.edu/academics/majors-minors. Students will be able to select an emphasis later with the help of their academic advisor. If your preferred major is not available, you will be provisionally admitted as an undeclared student. Undeclared students can work with their academic advisor to declare a major after they have enrolled at UC Merced.

So I don’t know if that means all majors usually offered would be available or not. Will have to attend the info session next week and find out more.


UC Merced engineering (including CSE) declaration of major policy:

How was the info session ? Will your student opt in ?

No, it’s not a good fit for him for several reasons. They say you are likely to get your preferred major, but you might not if there is no space available (and CS is very popular). It will say on your admission letter, so you can submit and find out, without committing if you want. You are assigned to either Fall or Spring to start, so you are not guaranteed Fall start date either. It’s in a small town in the middle of nowhere which he doesn’t want. There are other concerns, but suffice it to say it isn’t a good fit and he isn’t interested in going there. Which means our option now is to pay $$$ for a private school out of state. :slightly_frowning_face: