We must let more California students into public universities’ front door

On April 11, 2019, CALmatters published an op-ed from Dick Ackerman and Mel Levine, co-chairs of the California Coalition for Public Higher Education, titled, “We must let more California students into public universities’ front door.” Here’s an excerpt:

In 2017, CSU was forced to deny admission to 30,000 eligible students. Far fewer than half the eligible applicants for UC admission are accepted and at some campuses, fewer than 15% of applicants are admitted.

The major factor in this shortfall in capacity is that the state has failed to adequately invest in higher education.

Despite budget surpluses and recent increases in state spending on higher education, per student funding for the University of California by the state is more than 30% lower than it was two decades ago. Tuition and fees exceed state dollars as a source of funding for UC’s core educational expenses.

The situation has begun to improve. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s initial 2019-20 budget proposal calls for $1 billion combined increases for UC, CSU and the community colleges. The governor has wisely embraced the CSU budget request that will allow the system to expand enrollment and improve graduation rates.

But while Gov. Newsom’s January budget plan calls for a significant boost for the University of California, it falls about $200 million short of what is needed. In the past five years, UC has enrolled almost 5,000 additional students without the state paying any of its share for their costs.

Read the complete op-ed on the CALmatters website.