UC should not turn away qualified applicants

    fter Gov. Arnold Schwar-zenegger ordered a 10- percent cut in freshman enrollment, the University of California announced Feb. 26 that it will turn away 3,200 eligible high school seniors. In the past, they would have been guaranteed a spot on at least one UC campus. These students, who were told all year that their admission was guaranteed, will now be redirected to community colleges. Whether or not this technically breaches the California Master Plan for Higher Education, it certainly betrays its promise of accessibility. The university finds itself at a crossroads: This could be an unfortunate, but reversible, action, or it could be the beginning of a drastic and permanent reduction of accessibility.

    Decreasing enrollment is only the first of many painful steps the university will have to take if the state does not restore its budget. The university is vitally important to our state, both to its students and its economy.

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