Monday, April 21, 2014

The UC Admissions Bait and Switch

The UC has published its 2014 admissions’ statistics, and while the system is still required to admit all qualified students from California, a secret tactic is being used to make sure that it increases the number of high-paying non-resident and international students.  What the UC is doing is admitting students from California, but not offering them places at the campuses of their choice.  Simply put, students are applying to Berkeley and UCLA, but they are being admitted to Merced and Riverside. 

Looking at the latest statistics, we see that Berkeley accepted 8,391 students from California, 3,071 from out of state, and 1,333 international students.  Likewise, UCLA accepted 9,128 from California, 4,095 from out of state, and 2,537 international students.  So out of the 28,555 students accepted by both campuses, 11,036 are not from California.  These students (39% of the total admittees) each pay $23,000 exrtra for tuition, and they do not receive financial aid. Of course, not all of these students will accept their admission offers, but if all of them did, the two campuses would bring in an additional $254 million. 

If we now look at Merced, we find that 9,313 were accepted from California, and 152 from out of state, and 315 are international students. In the case of Riverside, we get 17,758 from California, 649 from out of state, and 1,390 are international. This means that out of the 27,071 admits from both campuses, 2,506 are not from California, which is 9%, for a total extra revenue of $57 million. In other words, the two elite campuses admitted almost the same amount of students as the two non-elite campuses, but the elites will get about $200 million more in tuition revenue.

Although the UC system is supposed to be correcting the historic inequality between the campuses, it is clear that this is not happening.  Meanwhile, the UC knows that many students who do not get their top choice and are offered admissions at Merced or Riverside will decide to go elsewhere.  Furthermore, the ability of UCLA and Berkeley to be more selective helps to raise their school rankings, which then perpetuates the disparities, since students do not want to go to a lower ranked school. 


  1. I learned that recently Berkeley professors had $4,000 deposited into their individual research accounts, while most other campuses did not. I am told these are funds available because of the out-of-state and foreign tuition monies. Another example of unequal working conditions and compensation across the system, but also a way to "buy" faculty acceptance of the diminishing opportunities for California students.

    1. Faculty at Berkeley are about to receive $4,000 of research funds. This has not come from student tuition but from the recovery of 10% of indirect costs on large research grants. It is a redistribution of research funds.

    2. This inequity is scandalous and should be
      corrected--why is UCSB faculty treated unfairly?

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