UC Berkeley Forced To Cut Admissions By Thousands Due To Court Ruling

The prestigious university will have to reduce its incoming freshman class by almost one-third after the California Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s ruling limiting enrollment.

University of California, Berkeley will be forced to admit about 3,000 fewer students than it planned for fall 2022 after the state Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling limiting enrollment.

On Thursday, the California Supreme Court denied the university’s request to stay a lower court’s ruling, which mandated the school limit enrollment to its 2020-2021 levels, effectively slashing the school’s upcoming freshman year class by almost one-third.

In a statement, the university said it was “extremely disheartened” by the ruling, saying it was “devastating news for the thousands of students who have worked so hard for and have earned a seat in our fall 2022 class.”

The university said last month that if the ruling held, it would mean they would have to send out over 5,000 fewer admissions offers later this month, in order to limit enrollment numbers.

These rulings come after Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods, a local community group, sued the school over its expansion plans, arguing that enrolling more UC Berkeley students would result in a negative impact on local housing prices and other environmental issues.

The university warned of “serious financial consequences” that come with lowering enrollment, estimating losses at $57 million in tuition, which would affect how much financial aid and other “critical student services” it can provide students. The school also noted that limiting enrollment to its 2020-2021 levels — at the height of the coronavirus pandemic — means freezing enrollment at an “abnormally low” rate of about 42,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

In a dissent Thursday, Justice Goodwin Liu, joined by Justice Joshua Groban, slammed their colleagues’ decision to allow a limit on enrollment at the university, saying thousands of students would face an “acute loss” of the “opportunity to attend one of our state’s premier universities.”

“This is not even to mention the contributions of leadership, innovation and service that our state and broader society may lose if thousands of students have to defer or forgo attending UC Berkeley,” the justices wrote, adding that the university being set to lose millions in tuition will “undermine California’s interests in expanding access to education.”

In response to the ruling, the school said it is “engaged with state leaders to identify possible legislative solutions” to this limit on enrollment.

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