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August 26, 2004

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SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Joe Simitian, Chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance, announced today that he would hold hearings next month to investigate the University of California’s admissions process and use of funds in readmitting applicants who were initially offered deferred admission to UC campuses.

Simitian’s call for hearings follows the discovery of UC’s continued denial of access to students who were offered conditional admission, despite the State’s restoration of funding to UC.

“These kids were told they would have been accepted but for a lack of funds. The funds have been restored and the kids are still being denied admission,” Simitian said. “Moreover, we still have no guarantee that the University will admit a full class of freshmen for 2004-05 year.”

“Frankly, I’m disappointed that UC is not fully honoring its declared commitment to the Legislature and to these students,” said Simitian. “UC committed to taking more than 5,600 students back and so far it appears they’ve taken fewer than 2,000. What’s more, students who were given conditional letters of admission from specific campuses are being told they can’t go to those very same campuses that made the offers in the first place, even though the funding prompting these conditional letters was restored. There’s no good reason for causing this much emotional and financial havoc in students’ lives.”

Simitian was recently alerted to UC’s new policy regarding the deferred admissions pool through a constituent, who received a conditional letter of admission to UCLA with a Guaranteed Transfer Option for 2006-07.  The letter did not state the possibility of restored funding for students, although the 2004-05 budget had not been finalized. Nor did the letter advise that in order to have a chance at being admitted for the 2004-05 school year, the student must accept the Guaranteed Transfer Option two years into the future. 

“Had this student accepted the Guaranteed Transfer Option for two years from now, she would now be going to the school of her choice—the one that made the offer in the first place. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, because UC imposed an after-the-fact admissions policy for the 2004-05 school year, without telling anyone beforehand what the policy would be,” said Simitian. “That is the basis for hearings.”

Among the questions that will be considered:

  • Did UC deny students due process rights when it changed the conditional admission offers after the fact to allow for admission this year?
  • To what purpose has the $12 million in restored funding, approved by the Legislature to ensure a full complement of freshmen, actually been spent?
  • How many students have been reinstated and where, and what conditional letters of admission were sent by which campuses?

Simitian and other legislators are also calling on UC President Dynes to take immediate action to enroll those students given conditional letters of admission at the campus from which they received such letters, and to enroll the full complement of freshmen into the UC system to which they committed earlier this month.

“This is about fairness and accountability,” said Simitian. “UC is a world-class institution; we should expect no less.”




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