Budget Cuts Limit Enrollment
Due to deep cuts in the 2003-2004 California state budget, many schools in the University of California system, including UCI, are forced to cap their enrollment for winter 2004.
According to a release by the UC Office of the President, the budget does not allow for any increase in enrollment at the UC schools and reduces funding to programs like educational outreach to K-12 schools.
Accompanying the cuts in program funding was a 30 percent increase in student enrollment fees.
The coming enrollment caps will affect mostly transfer students who are hoping to come to UCI forwinter quarter.
‘There were many good candidates that we just didn’t have the capacity for, so we couldn’t even consider them, and they were sent letters from each of the campuses that had winter caps,’ said Marguerite Bonous-Hamarth, director of admissions at UCI.
Bonous-Hamarth went on to explain the process, saying UCI’s capacity is determined usually by ‘looking at a couple of different factors for the campuses, how many faculty, how many courses have to be offered.’
Bonous-Hamarth added that Executive Vice Chancellor Michael Gottfriedson and Chancellor Ralph Cicerone are working with the academic senate and always determines UCI’s enrollment capacity.
Capping enrollment does not mean there will be no transfer students admitted this winter, however.
‘Once we remain committed to admitting students who are from our partnership schools and preliminary application in the field, there was very little additional capacity that we could consider,’ Bonous-Hamarth said.
The prospective 2004-05 California state budget does not, however, allow for funding to support an increase in enrollment at the UC schools.
With so little money available to UC campuses, enrollment caps might be put into place for freshman enrolling in fall 2004.
This would mean that UC campuses already at their enrollment capacity will have to turn away even more students that meet qualifications for admission.
It has been the practice of the UC system to ensure that every student who meets the eligibility requirements be admitted to at least one UC campus, even if the applicant’s first choice did not accept him or her. These students would then be admitted to a different, less-crowded and less-selective campus within the system
. However, with the enormous growth in population, campuses that once absorbed overflow from other schools are now turning away their own applicants.
Sally Peterson, dean of students and assistant vice chancellor of student affairs, gave an example of this overflow of students.
‘Riverside used to not be in that position. Now they’re in the same position, so I think it’s affecting a lot of campuses,’ Peterson said.
Peterson also explained that the UC planned to deal with additional students with the creation of the 10th UC campus at Merced. Students who were not admitted to their first-choice school would still be admitted here.
The prospective budget for the next year, however, calls for a reduction in funding to UC Merced, which will delay its acceptance of undergraduate students by one year.
‘The budget is uncertain,’ said vice chancellor Manuel Gomez. ‘We have a new governor, and we do know that we want to maintain the master plan promise of access to every UC eligible student in the state to some place in one of the UC campuses. ‘
I think the delay will have a modest impact on the campuses in terms of demand; it’ll be more difficult to accommodate all those students. That’s going to be probably one of the most severe tests that we’re going to be looking at, whether UC can sustain that promise of space for every UC eligible student.’