If you feel you were a high school graduating senior (2011 - present) that was denied an "appropriate" admission to the University of California please give your information to the Department of Justice. Sworn Complaint: Additional Information
U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division
Sent via e-mail April 25, 2019
California Taxpayers vs University of California and the State of California: The University of California- Its Admissions and Financial Decisions Have Disadvantaged California Resident Students.
A record number of California Resident Students who are in the top 12.5% of their high school graduating class were denied admission to an "appropriate" UC campus. Instead, they were placed in a referral pool and offered UC Merced as their only UC option. These are students that qualify for admission to flagship schools like a UC Berkeley or a UCLA. It has been documented that less than 1.1% of the students placed in the referral pool and offered UC Merced as their only UC option choose to enroll. Instead they are forced to seek enrollment in Private Universities and Out-of-State 4- year selective colleges and universities in order to get a comparable education to a UC Berkeley and UCLA, for which they are highly qualified.
California's best and brightest are being denied educational opportunity so that the University of California can "sell" their seats to Out-of-State and International students at a profit to the University. From 2011 to the present, the University of California has decreased California Resident enrollment from 87% to 76% while Out-of State and International enrollment has gone from 13% to 24%. A 2015 Audit recommended that the University of California cap International enrollment at 5%
The University of California justifies the continued increase in International enrollment as a means of obtaining diversity. Because of the ethnic make-up of International students the University's student population no longer reflects the diversity of the state which, was the expressed desire of the California Legislature.
88% of the International students come from Asia and the Middle East.
61% of the 88% are from The Peoples Republic of China.
12% represent all other countries in the World
This is not "diversity". If all of our top educational institutions are filled with students from Asia and the Middle East, with an overwhelming majority from The People's Republic of China it could be viewed as a threat to our National Security Interest.
There are great inequities in the admissions process. The Out-of-State and International students are guaranteed admittance to at least one campus of there choice. California Resident Students are not. The Out-of-State and International students are admitted with lower test scores and lower GPA's than that of California Resident students. Highly qualified California Resident students are denied their schools of choice, and are placed in a referral pool and offered UC Merced as their only UC option. These students are overqualified for UC Merced and that is why 99% refuse to enroll in UC Merced.
As a result of unfair admissions policies, the families of California Resident students suffer financially. In-State Tuition & Fees at the University of California are approximately $14,000 per year. Tuition and Fees at a comparable College or University outside the UC System are now $54,000 per year (a difference of $40,000 per year). After paying their extremely high taxes for a "World Class Education" at a UC school, these families are being forced to spend an additional $40,000 per year in Tuition and Fees alone, to attend a comparable College or University. Over four years that is $160,000 in increased educational expense per family. This is money that leaves the local economy.
Data for the Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD); in Orange County California showed that in 2018, 229 CUSD high achieving students were denied admission to an "appropriate" UC school. The cost to these 229 CUSD families was $49 million dollars over four years. Money that leaves the local economy.
The University of California's admission policies and practices violate California Law and the University of California's Master Plan Mandate. California Residents are entitled to an "appropriate" placement within the UC System, or they should be granted financial reparations to offset the increased educational expense. The University of California cannot be allowed to unjustly enrich its self at the expense of California taxpayers.
The University of California is double dipping. Not only does the UC "sell" each seat for an average of $44,000, the UC keeps the tax money that has already been allocated to the UC to reduce CA Resident tuition for that seat to $14,000. It is abusive to California taxpayers to have paid $28,000 for a seat that is sold at discounted tuition rates to Out-of-State and International students. International students attend flagship schools like UC Berkeley and UCLA for $44,000 per year in Tuition and Fees while CA Residents are forced out of the UC System and pay $54,000 in Tuition and Fees. Why should California taxpayers subsidize the education of Out-of-State and International students at the expense of their own children?
At the conclusion of this complaint there is a recommendation of how the University of California could immediately (for the Class of 2020) create an additional 26,166 seats for qualified California Residents without additional funding from State taxpayers.
None of the recommendations from the 2015 Audit have been been implemented.
Four years later, a report from the LAO confirms that enrollment of California Resident students continues to decline as the University of California continues to "sell" a greater number of seats every year.
California Resident Students are being denied equality of educational opportunity; a violation of the the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution which guarantees equal protection of the laws.
Statement of Facts
1. The University of California is a taxpayer funded educational institution that operates under a Master Plan that requires California residents to be given priority enrollment. As a publicly funded institution, the University of California is accountable to the people of California for how well it performs.
"Access and differentiation of admissions pools. The establishment of the principle of universal access and choice, and differentiation of admissions pools for the segments:
• UC was to select from among the top one-eighth (12.5%) of the high school graduating class.
• CSU was to select from among the top one-third (33.3%) of the high school graduating class.
• Calif. Community Colleges were to admit any student capable of benefiting from instruction.
"Access guarantee. Subsequent policy has modified the Master Plan to provide that all California residents in the top one-eighth or top one-third of the statewide high school graduating class who apply on time be offered a place somewhere in the UC or CSU system, respectively, though not necessarily at the campus or in the major of first choice. State law affirms the state’s commitment to fund all eligible California residents."
The University of California is in violation of its' Master Plan Mandate.
The University of California's modified policy violates California Education Code 66202.5.
[Note: The UC continues to administratively modified policy which changes the their Mandate. These administrative changes in policy are in conflict with State Law. State Law requires "appropriate" placement. The UC does not give CA Residents "appropriate" placement, and does not guarantee them admission to at least one campus of their choice. Out-of-State and International students are guaranteed admission to at least one school of their choice. This constitutes Denial of Equality of Educational Opportunity which discriminates against California Resident students.]
2. California Education Code 66202.5
“The University of California and the California State University are expected to plan that adequate spaces are available to accommodate all California resident students who are eligible and likely to apply to attend an appropriate place within the system. The State of California likewise reaffirms its historic commitment to ensure that resources are provided to make this expansion possible, and shall commit resources to ensure that [eligible] students ….. are accommodated in a place within the system.” [CA Education Code 66202.5]
The State of California is in violation of California Education Code 66202.5
[The University of California should not be required to "sell" seats to raise revenue. The State of California made a commitment to ensure resources are available to accommodate all eligible students an "appropriate" place within the UC system.]
3. In 2019, the State of California is enjoying record high revenues of $209 billion. That is up from $143 billion in 2007-08. The State of California has sufficient revenue to provide a seat for every qualified California resident, but is "choosing" to fund other programs and entitlements that are not Constitutionally mandated. Public Education is the State of California's number one Constitutionally mandated spending priority.
As an example: California has $55 billion that is currently budgeted for High Speed Rail project which has been partially suspended and may not be built.
4. University of California's Referral Pool to UC Merced
California State Auditor Report Number: 2015-107: The University of California- Its Admissions and Financial Decisions Have Disadvantaged California Resident Students.
Audit Summary paragraph 5
"Furthermore, over the past 10 years, the university began denying admission to an increasing number of residents to the campuses of their choice. If residents are eligible for admission to the university and are not offered admission to the campuses of their choice, the university offers them spots at an alternative campus through what it calls a referral process. In contrast, nonresidents, if admitted, are always admitted to at least one campus of their choice. Of particular concern is that, over the same time period, the university’s campuses denied admission to nearly 4,300 residents whose academic scores met or exceeded all of the median scores for nonresidents whom the university admitted to the campus of their choice. According to the university, the referral process is critical to it meeting its Master Plan commitment to admit the top 12.5 percent of residents. However, few of the residents whom the university admits and refers to an alternate campus ultimately enroll. In academic year 2014–15 for example, 55 percent of residents to whom the university offered admission to one of the campuses to which they applied enrolled, while only 2 percent of the 10,700 residents placed in the referral pool enrolled."
[Note: UC Merced is not an "appropriate" placement for many students in the Top 12.5% of their high School graduating class]
"Eligible Students Have Access to UC System, Not First-Choice Campus. For both freshman and transfer applicants, eligibility guarantees admission to the UC system but not to a particular campus. When applicants are not admitted to their campus of choice, UC refers them to less-selective campuses. Currently, Merced serves as the referral campus for freshman applicants, whereas both Riverside and Merced serve as referral campuses for transfer applicants."
"High School Graduates Projected to Decline Slightly. The Department of Finance projects a 0.8 percent decline in the number of high school graduates in 2018-19 and a 0.4 percent decline in 2019-20. This means that, all other factors staying the same, enrollment demand for freshman slots in 2020-21 would decrease accordingly. This slight decline in high school graduates over the next two years also suggests that enrollment growth at UC could be a lower priority for the Legislature."
"Many Students Not Getting Into Campus of Choice. Although UC is admitting all eligible freshman applicants, some of these applications are redirected to Merced. In fall 2017, 10,700 eligible freshman applicants (14 percent) were referred to Merced. Very few of these students (119 or 1.1 percent) elected to enroll at that campus. Students who do not accept admission at UC may end up attending CSU, a private school, or a community college (then transferring to a four-year school, including UC, upon completing their lower-division coursework). Supporting more enrollment growth could enable UC to accommodate more applicants at their campus of choice. The Legislature could weigh this benefit against its other budget priorities."
UC Merced is a "False Choice" for these "Highly Qualified" students. The admission process for California Residents is a fraud upon the public.
The State of California have broken their promise to California Taxpayers and California Resident Students.
2015 Audit of the UC at page 35
California State Auditor Report Number: 2015-107: The University of California- Its Admissions and Financial Decisions Have Disadvantaged California Resident Students.
Audit Summary paragraph 7
"The university’s admission decisions have also hampered its efforts to meet its own and the Legislature’s desire that the university’s student body reflect the diversity of the State. While underrepresented minorities—which the university considers to be Chicanos/Latinos, African Americans, and American Indians—represent 45 percent of California’s population, they make up 30 percent of the university’s overall undergraduate population. Although nonresidents bring geographic diversity to the university, only 11 percent of domestic undergraduate nonresidents were from underrepresented minorities as of academic year 2014–15. The university will struggle to ensure that its student population reflects the diversity of the State if it continues to increase nonresident enrollment."
Number of Students from each country.
Admissions by Source School (GPA Data showing admissions requirements for International students much lower than for California Resident Students)
88% of International students come from Asia and the Middle East.
61% of the 88% come from The Peoples Republic of China.
27% are from other parts of Asia and the Middle East.
Only 12% of International enrollment represent all other parts of the world.
6. Limiting International enrollment to 5%
The Auditor recommended limiting International and Out of State enrollment to 5% to that "highly qualified" California Residents would be guaranteed enrollment at the "appropriate" school of their choice as mandated by law.
2015 Audit of the UC at page 6
"Specifically, the Legislature should consider limiting the percentage of undergraduate nonresidents that the university can enroll each year. Between academic years 2005–06 and 2007–08— before the fiscal crisis—nonresidents comprised about 5 percent of the university’s new undergraduate enrollment. By academic year 2014–15, that percentage had climbed to more than 17 percent, which translated into more than 7,200 additional new nonresident undergraduates enrolled over a 5 percent limit. Implementing a 5 percent limit on new nonresident enrollment would allow the university to enroll an equivalent number of additional new resident undergraduate students per year—about 7,200—more than the number it enrolled in academic year 2014–15."
[Note: California Resident Student enrollment has declined to 76%. Nonresident enrollment has increased to 24%]
[Note: The Conclusion illustrates how we could limit International enrollment to 5% as recommended by the auditor and keep the same projected budget for 2019-20]
2015 Audit of the UC at page 7
"To ensure that the university meets its commitment to residents and to bring transparency and accountability to admission outcomes, the Legislature should consider excluding the students who the university places in the referral pool and who do not ultimately enroll at the referral campus when calculating the university’s Master Plan admission rate until the percentage of students who enroll through the referral process more closely aligns with the admission percentages of the other campuses.
[Data from the Capistrano Unified School District shows that actual enrollment rate for admission into a UC is between 5% and 8%, way below the 12.5% guarantee]
7. Financial Penalties to California Resident Students
Case Study Capistrano Unified School District
The Cost to CUSD Families ($49 million dollars out of our local economy).
The average Tuition and Fees for a comparable education to a UC flagship school (UCLA or UC Berkeley) is $54,000 per year.
229 students X $54,000 per year = $12,366,000 ($12.4 million dollars)
Over 4 years that is $49,464,000 ($49 million dollars) Money that will not be spent in our local economy if these students are forced to attend Out of State colleges and Universities.
These families who have paid extremely high taxes all of their lives, with the promise that all students in the top 12.5% of their high school graduation class would be admitted to an "appropriate" University of California school. They are now forced to pay a second time to receive a comparable education. That is "Double taxation" which unjustly enriches the University of California at the expense of California Resident Students.
The auditor states that this happens to over 10,000 California residents each year ($54 billion per year). Local elected leaders should care about the financial drain from the State of California and their local communities.
8. Financial Benefit to the University of California
University of California Tuition and Fees: $14,335 (Average Tuition and Fees)
2018 Tuition & Fees (varies among each campus)
When the UC "sells" a seat it receives Out-of-State and International Tuition of $43,799.
They have already received California Taxpayer money in the amount of $28,992 per seat which has been paid by taxpayers to bring the cost of In-State Tuition down to $14,335 per seat. So the UC is actually "double dipping". The UC receives $43,799 + 28,992 per seat they "sell" = $72,791 per seat.
The UC "sold" 229 CUSD seats and made a profit of $16,669,139. The UC profitted at the the expense of CUSD families by forcing QUALIFIED CUSD students to attend college outside the UC system, and passing an increased expense of $12.4 million on to CUSD families- that is a double tax for a promise that was broken.
The UC System advertises that all students in the Top 12.5% of their high school graduation class will get a seat, although it may not be at the campus of their choice- and they do so knowing they have defrauded the public with the false choice of UC Merced as their only option.
The UC continues to administratively change their admissions policies behind closed doors in violation of State Law.
This is the UC current stated policy:
The law is still 12.5% in the "Local Context". The UC has changed that to 9%.
If a California Residents student is not admitted to any UC campus of their choice, they will now only be offered a space at another campus "If Space is Available". That is not in compliance with State Law.
The UC must follow the law.
Taxpayers should not be forced to fund a private institution that denies seats to California Residents.
Recommendation on How to Create More Seats for California Residents Without the Need for Increased Tax Revenue
The University of California claims that it is being forced to raise revenue by "selling" seats to Out of State and International students due to a lack of funding.
Current projected revenues from Tuition and Fees
$5.68 billion dollars (2018-19 Enrollment data).
The Auditor recommended limiting International students to 5% This would create an additional 26,164 seats for California Residents.
Change Tuition and Fees for Out of State and International Students. Right now the UC "sells" seats to Out of State and International students for $43,779 per student. CA Residents who are denied seats are paying $54,000 to attend colleges outside the UC System. Why is the University of California giving nonresidents such a great discount? Many Universities now have three Tuition rates:
This would create 26,166 new seats for CA Residents at no increased expense to California Taxpayers or a loss of revenue to the University of California.