Starting around January 7th each year, the UC opens up the Transfer Academic Update (TAU) web page. This is a crucial step after you applied the previous November. You MUST update your fall grades and reaffirm your winter/spring course list in the TAU. Failure to do so results in an automatic rejection.
Here are 8 steps to keep in mind when filling out the TAU:
The TAU window is open for priority consideration through Jan 31st.
This means you need to fill it out during January. The last several years the UC has left it open passed that date so if you have a change you can enter it up there usually up through part of March — although the priority part means you must have first entered the info in the month of January. So you’re essentially a repeat customer.
What grades do you enter?
What the TAU wants is a list of your completed fall courses along with grades. You then re-enter any winter/spring courses planned or in-progress. If this list changed from your November application, no worries. Just enter your new course plan. This also applies to your fall term. If something changed from the November application simply list what you ended up taking. The UC works off the TAU.
What if I left out a course or a term or wrongly stated a grade from a term before fall?
The TAU is not for terms prior to fall. Any course or term omitted or mis-stated must be sent by email to the UC at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. You will receive a confirmation in about five business days and your application will be updated on their end. This means you may not see the change, but the response email will acknowledge that it was received and documented.
Should I update any extra-curricular activities?
No. The UCs no longer care about what you’re doing your final terms after the application in November. The reason is simple. They want an equal playing field for all applicants and the closing window was fall term. However, I am going to be the outlier here and suggest if you have a superlative activity (such as you won a NASA gig or got a research position at Stanford, those sorts of things), then yes put it in the Additional Comments. It doesn’t hurt. But if your EC is run-of-the-mill (tutoring, etc) they won’t care, and the TAU is really just for courses.
Speaking of the Additional Comments, what are they for?
This is where you might mention glitches in grades and an explanation. If a major required course was listed in the November application but is not offered in spring as you planned, you might mention it. If a course is a duplication to eliminate a bad grade, mention it. Explain anything that might be confusing. Most people do not have anything to say in the Additional Comments so don’t feel you need to add anything.
What if you have changes in February or March?
After the priority window closes on January 31st, if you have a course change, go to the TAU and attempt to update, if possible. You should also then email each UC individually through the portal because you cannot guarantee that every UC will look at the TAU as time moves on. You want to make sure each UC sees your update.
Berkeley has an additional form!
If you applied to Berkeley, Cal admissions will send you a notice to complete some additional forms on its site. This will also be highlighted on the Berkeley portal. The timing more or less coincides with the TAU notification. The form/s must be completed or you risk an immediate rejected (and they aren’t kidding when they say that).
A few points after the TAU
Don’t be alarmed if a UC asks for an unofficial transcript or a further explanation regarding a gap year or more information on a hardship or disability. This is par for the course and means nothing in terms of admission. They usually always ask again of you have a hardship or disability, usually always ask again if you have a gap year, even if you explained it, and the ask for a transcript, who knows what it means. If you have a high GPA it could be they are evaluating you for a scholarship. It’s all smoke and mirrors. But the big takeaway is it is nothing to worry about.
Bonus TAG tip: If you TAG’d a campus, the minimum GPA is cumulative, meaning the UC will blend your fall GPA with your previous GPA. The UC will later recalculate the cumulative GPA adding in your winter/spring term grades. If you make it passed fall (the final term evaluated in the application process) and are accepted via TAG, then you tank in winter/spring and drop below the minimum GPA, it will be up to the UC as to whether to keep you or rescind you, as you will now have been moved to the regular admission pile.