UCI is no stranger to the strains of the California budget crisis, as 771 transfer student applicants will be denied admissions in winter 2004 and refunded the $40 application fee.
State budget cuts required UCI to limit the number of transfer students accepted to the university, according to UCI director of admissions Marguerite Bonous-Hammarth.
‘The budget specified that the state would not fund any enrollment growth at the university in 2004 to 2005,’ Bonous-Hammarth said. ‘That limitation, in conjunction with the cuts already enacted, forced UC campuses open for winter 2004 to substantially reduce the number of students admitted.’
Bonous-Hammarth did not specify how many students are normally admitted during winter quarters, only saying that this year fewer were admitted.
According to Bonous-Hammarth, the budget specified $410 million in cuts to UC programs.
‘Unfortunately, our winter application period was opened before the state budget was adopted in July,’ Bonous-Hammarth said.
Due to the fact that the state budget was solidified after the application period opened, there was uncertainty to the number of students that would be accepted for winter quarter.
Bonous-Hammarth said only about 13 percent of winter quarter applicants are projected to be admitted.
According to Bonous-Hammarth, UCI received 896 applications from students in advance standing for winter 2004. UCI plans to admit only 125 transfer students for the quarter.
The transfer student applicants will be receiving a refund of the application fee as a result of an agreement with community colleges.
‘The campus honored its transfer admission agreements with California community colleges,’ Bonous-Hammarth said. ‘The University of California is refunding the application fee paid by applicants who were not accommodated on campus due to this case of limited capacity.’
The news of reduced numbers in transfer students’ admittance is in stark contrast to the 2002 school year. According to Chancellor Cicerone’s 2002 State of the Campus letter, he mentioned that 2002 admitted not only the ‘largest incoming freshman class in UCI history’ at about 4,000, but also the largest number of transfer students at 1,300.
According to another UCI report last April, the school has seen a nearly 20 percent increase over last year in applications from students enrolled at community colleges, with 3,891 transfer students offered admission for fall 2003.
However, since the number of accepted applicants for winter quarter is now reduced, Bonous-Hammarth encouraged students to apply for fall 2005.
Bonous-Hammarth did acknowledge that the budget crisis has a significant impact on prospective students.
‘Budget reductions for the University of California continue to impact recruitment and informational outreach to prospective applicants and their schools,’ Bonous-Hammarth said.
However, Bonous-Hammarth did acknowledge that efforts to provide educational tools will be continued.
‘UCI is in strong demand by undergraduates for enrollment and we continue to provide prospective applicants with information on the great array of educational opportunities offered by the campus to support their career decisions,’ Bonous-Hammarth said.
Linh Quach, a fourth-year English major and a former transfer student, believes that the reduction in acceptances to UCI is unfair to students.
‘It ends up being very horrible to the students because come fall , there will be a lot more students applying for fewer spots,’ Quach said. ‘I think it puts transfer students at a major disadvantage.’
Dylan Grant, a fifth-year English and Spanish major as well as former transfer student, said this reduction in admissions is just a reflection of the greater problem within our state and federal government as a whole.
‘The fact that funding for education is almost always the first to be cut is pretty indicative of how low our government and elected officials, no matter what they say during their campaigns, place the importance of education for college students,’ Grant said. ‘Because of the state’s current budget situation and its history, the cut in funding and UCI’s reaction to it is disappointing, but not at all surprising.’
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