Accessibility, to all Californians who meet the University's eligibility (admissions) standards, and affordability are two key goals for the University of California. Nowhere are they better defined than in California's Master Plan for Higher Education. The Master Plan assigns each of the three public higher education segments - the University of California (UC), the California State University (CSU) system and the California Community Colleges (CCC) - its own distinctive mission and pool of students. Under the Master Plan, UC admits all eligible freshmen in the top 12.5 percent of California's public high school graduates, determining how that pool is defined. It also has a well-defined transfer route for students who choose to attend a California Community College after high school.
Indicators in this chapter describe the freshman and transfers who apply, are admitted and enroll in the University, in terms of their academic preparedness, their socio-economic status, and their geographic origins. Presented to show changes over time, they demonstrate the continuing challenges the University faces meeting its Master Plan obligations.
Specifically, the indicators show that despite state budget cuts and tuition increases, demand for a UC education continues to grow among California families. Campuses that used to admit almost every applicant are becoming more selective, and the students admitted are more academically prepared than a decade ago.
UC has shrunk the size of the freshman class in response to state budget cuts, but those reductions have been partially offset by increases in the enrollment of new community college transfer students. In addition, UC has begun to increase the proportion of nonresident students at its campuses, but their proportion remains extremely low compared to other public and private institutions in the Association of American Universities.
The indicators in this section have been watched closely by the University for many years. In the next few years, they will be monitored to discern the impacts of student tuition increases and how they are mitigated by student financial aid. The University will also monitor any changes that may be attributed to new eligibility criteria that will be introduced to select freshmen beginning in 2012.1 Finally, UC campuses will be recruiting additional nonresident undergraduate students to enrich and diversify their student bodies while preserving institutional capacity in the absence of adequate state funding.
For more information
The University maintains an extensive website with information on admissions at www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions. Additional information is available on the California Master Plan for Higher Education (pdf).
1 Under these eligibility criteria, more California applicants will be fully considered for admission to UC.