New mandate cuts admits


After a battle in the California Supreme Court, thousands of high school applicants to the University of California, Berkeley may be cut from enrollment.

The decision, issued on Feb. 10 by the California Court of Appeals, forced UC Berkeley to freeze its acceptance numbers to 42,347 students, resulting in a decrease of 3,050 incoming undergraduate student enrollments. This decline in admissions is one of the highest since 1999, when the school denied over 70 percent of its applicants, and could affect the major demographics applying to UC Berkeley.

In light of the new decision and the pre-existing 17 percent acceptance rate for the school, several Diamond Bar High School students have voiced their thoughts on the issue.

“I understand why they’re [UCB] reducing their numbers but if they can get a few more buildings built, I don’t think they should be court-mandated to reduce the enrollments,” senior Rani Yeh said.

Amidst the controversial decision, students at UC Berkeley expressed their own gripes with the ruling, citing the university’s ongoing issues involving inadequate housing for its undergraduates.

“The recent admission changes for UC Berkeley reflect the poor planning of the UC Berkeley faculty,” UC Berkeley freshman Virginia Sun said. “Berkeley already has a history of running out of housing for students, so it’s clear to me that they chose to postpone fixing the problem until they couldn’t anymore.” 

One of the most notable figures speaking against this decision is Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has argued that this decision would damage many eligible students’ chances of gaining a good education. Newsom and other officials worry this mandate could potentially influence other universities’ admission numbers considering UCB’s administration is offering to send their applicants to other UC schools, creating an influx of students.

“There are programs in community college that guarantee you [admission] into a UC school. And typically community college students are prioritized over high school students because they show more of a commitment. There are many routes that can lead [students] to the same outcome,” GLC Morgan Galeener said.

Due to the rippling effects of the potential applicant spillover from UCB to other UCs, many of DBHS’ senior applicants to the school side with the opinion against the new mandate.

“I think the recent changes to reduce admission by 3,000 students is unfair. They’re [UCB] is trading their comfort with thousands of students’ dreams and potential to reshape the world,” senior Alan Zhang said.

Despite this development, Bill 118 recently passed by the California Senate could pause the enrollment cap for up to 18 months by allowing UC Berkeley additional time to deal with the housing conflicts. While this only grants temporary relief to an ongoing issue, it has sparked some hope for UCB applicants.