As a college-bound senior who has worked diligently throughout high school, it was disheartening to read "UC Admissions to Weigh 'Personal Achievement' " (Nov. 19). The timing of this news is frustrating. The policy could have been implemented in a few years, allowing high school freshmen to accommodate themselves to these changes. It appears that, having already played the game of college admissions, the rules have been changed before the points have been tallied.
The new "life challenges" rank that each student will be given shows that this new policy is an obvious attempt to sidestep the race-based affirmative action ban passed in 1995. Although affirmative action has its noble aspects, helping people who may not have had the opportunities to succeed because of income restrictions or other hardships, it is unfair to pass this burden on to another group. Why should I be penalized for being born into a middle-class Asian family? Instead, the problem could be solved through scholarships or government grants, or even through improved public education.
I did not have the grades or the SAT scores to enter the UC system directly. I spent two years at a community college and transferred to UCLA, where I completed my degree. I am not at all ashamed of the way I completed college; in fact, I share my story with others as an example of one of the many ways in which one can earn a college degree. My degree is from UCLA; it is not marked "transfer degree." Taking the emphasis away from academic performance will only serve to detract from the prestige of having a degree from UCLA or UC Berkeley in the long run.