UC system to increase acceptance rate of in-state applicants

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Jamie Kim staff writer

A plan to boost the number of in-state undergraduates for the 2016-17 school year in all University of California (UC) schools will soon be underway.

On Wednesday, Oct. 21, UC president Janet Napolitano announced this proposal, which she will fully discuss in more detail during the UC Board of Regent’s meeting next month. There is an incentive for this plan, for the California State Legislature is offering a $25 million bonus if the UC system can raise the number of undergraduates from California by 5,000 for the next school year.

“I think that this is a positive change since the taxes that California residents pay to the state for public higher education will be reciprocated in a greater acceptance rate for in-state applicants,” senior Mishelle Arakelian said.

The goals of this plan had previously been discussed, but there were some concerns regarding whether the number of 5,000 could be reached and whether sufficient classes and dormitory rooms could be added in time. However, Napolitano said that she and her team have been working since the summer to meet this goal.

“The residents of California are unhappy that great students of California are not getting admitted to the UC system. It’s getting harder and harder to get it, and the UC’s answer to that is there isn’t enough space. The state of California is not giving us enough money to create more space for California residents, so until that happens, we can’t admit as many students as we’d like from California. So, it’s really a reaction to that. The UC system and the state have been working together to create more space, so it’s really a result of that. I think [Napolitano] was really clear in saying we can’t make more space unless we get more money from the state of California. So, I’m sure that that is being finalized right now, and some announcement will come up soon,” Dean of College Admissions AhYoung Chi said.

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These are the percentages of in-state undergraduates in each of the UC schools during the 2014-15 school year.

Many seniors were relieved to hear this announcement, as this policy pertains to them.

“I think [this new plan] is really great because California family are the ones paying taxes that are going to these institutions. It’s important for the state to repay its own citizens with secure college and a secure future at a university, especially a good university, where they can get a really strong education, to ultimately get good jobs,” senior Emily Rishwain said.

On the other hand, some people were against this new plan.

“I believe that UCs shouldn’t just admit 10 percent more California residents. Considering that California doesn’t even make it to the top 10 most educated states in the world, UCs should be able to admit students that are of their standards, or better. It doesn’t mean that no California residents won’t be accepted,” senior Andy Park said. “I just feel if the public stops scrutinizing the UCs about what to do and what not to do, the UCs can admit smarter out-of-state students, which in fact can be used as an excuse to change the school system in California and make our state educationally competitive.”

The UCs are competitive in admission, with UC Berkeley topping the list with an overall acceptance rate of 16.9 percent, and UCLA, with an overall acceptance rate of 17.3 percent.

“I believe that I now have a better chance of getting into UC schools, but it will still be a challenging task,” senior Pouya Reihani said.

Only time will tell if this plan will increase Beverly’s current seniors’ chances at acceptance to a UC school and, ultimately, if the plan will be fulfilled.

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