Local path (ELC)

Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC) is a program by which UC identifies top-performing California high school students.

Unlike the broader statewide eligibility pathway, which seeks to recognize top students from throughout the state, ELC draws qualified California resident students from among the top 9 percent of each participating high school.

How students become ELC-eligible

  • Complete 11 UC-approved courses by the beginning of their senior year. The 11 units include:
    • History/Social Science — 1 year
    • English — 2 years
    • Mathematics — 2 years
    • Laboratory Science — 1 year
    • Language Other than English — 1 year
    • Other "a-g" courses — 4 years
  • Have a GPA that meets or exceeds the school's benchmark ELC GPA (minimum 3.0). Benchmark GPA's are set using historical transcript information to determine a cutoff for the top 9 percent of the senior class; they will be reset for one-third of participating schools each year.

ELC-qualified students must then apply to UC in November of their senior year and complete the remaining eligibility requirements — including the subject and examination requirements — to be considered fully eligible.

ELC students who complete these requirements but are not admitted to a campus they apply to will be offered admission to another campus if space is available.

Because ELC status is determined at the point the application is submitted, it is crucial that students accurately enter their academic history on the application. Academic record changes will not result in a reassessment of ELC status.

How UC determines schools' historic GPAs

Since the inception of the ELC program, participating schools have submitted transcripts for the top 12.5 percent (15 percent beginning in 2011) of their students, with parental permission. Using this information, we have established a historic, or benchmark, GPA representing the expected GPA for the top 9 percent of the students from each school.

Schools are periodically requested to submit transcripts so that we can monitor — and reset, if necessary — their benchmark GPA.

How can my school participate in the ELC program?

Most California public high schools and more than 80 percent of private schools participate in the ELC program. To participate, a school must be located in California, accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, have an American Testing Program code, and have a full list of UC-approved courses for the most recent academic cycle.

Virtual schools are not eligible to participate in the ELC program.

Eligible schools participating in the ELC program are responsible for obtaining parental authorization before forwarding student contact information.

For information about joining the program, email elc@ucop.edu. New participation requests must be received no later than mid-August for the fall admission application cycle (freshman enrollment the following fall).

Questions about ELC?

See our Q&A or email elc@ucop.edu.

Are you a participating ELC school?

Log in to the ELC submission portal.