Thursday, July 29, 2004
Hanan Eisenman (510) 587-6194
Brad Hayward (510) 987-9195


The University of California will offer freshman admission to UC-eligible applicants who initially were referred to community colleges this year, thanks to a state budget agreement that has now been approved by the Legislature and awaits the governor's signature. The Assembly approved the budget on Wednesday, and the Senate approved it today (July 29).

" We are very pleased that the governor and Legislature have reached this agreement to preserve freshman access to the University of California for all eligible students," said UC President Robert C. Dynes. "We look forward to welcoming these students to the university."

The budget approved by the Legislature also restores state funding for UC academic development (outreach) programs in California K-12 schools and sustains the governor's proposed level of funding for UC Merced, which had been removed from an earlier legislative version of the budget.

Regarding enrollments, the Legislature signaled in the 2003-04 state budget that the state would provide no funding for UC enrollment growth in 2004-05, and the governor's original 2004-05 budget plan further proposed a 10 percent reduction in freshman enrollments.

Based on that information, UC this spring offered 7,641 UC-eligible freshman applicants a "guaranteed transfer option" (GTO) rather than admission as freshmen. Under the GTO program, students were guaranteed admission to a specific UC campus as juniors after successfully completing a two-year community college transfer program.

However, since the original GTO offers were made, two campuses -- UC Davis and UC Santa Cruz -- have offered freshman admission to some of these students based on enrollment capacity at those campuses. As a result, there are currently approximately 5,800 UC-eligible freshman applicants who have only received a GTO offer rather than an offer of freshman admission.

Roughly 1,300 students in the GTO pool accepted UC's original GTO offer, while others declined it and presumably accepted offers of admission from other colleges and universities.

With the Legislature's approval of the budget, the University of California now intends to offer freshman admission to the remaining GTO students, as long as they kept up their academic performance in their senior year and maintained their UC eligibility, as is required of all enrollees. Students will receive an initial e-mail or letter from the UC administration describing the situation, followed by an offer of admission from a UC campus. These offers will be sent within the next week.

The eight current UC undergraduate campuses all will offer freshman admission to GTO students. Students may be offered fall, winter or spring admission, depending upon the capacity of the campus, availability of housing and other considerations.

Students who have accepted a GTO offer from UC will still be able to keep it if they choose, rather than entering as freshmen.

The state budget agreement struck by the governor and Legislature is over and above commitments made by the governor in a multi-year "compact" with UC and the California State University. The compact offers state funding for student enrollment growth each year through 2010-11, but its provisions do not kick in until the 2005-06 fiscal year.

Under the compact, UC agreed to provide $12 million in internal funding to sustain K-12 academic development (outreach) programs. Under the budget agreement, UC will use that funding instead to enroll as freshmen the GTO students who wish to do so. The state will then provide $29 million in funding for UC's K-12 academic development programs, the same level as in the 2003-04 state budget. This funding arrangement would leave these programs with a net $4 million reduction in internal UC resources; this amount is part of the $12 million that will now need to be used to fund the enrollment restoration.

Additional information on the admission process for GTO students will be available shortly on the UC Web site at: universityofcalifornia.edu/gto

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