Berkeley and UCs- A Threat to the Establishment?

<p>Wonder why Berkeley and UCs gets so much bashing from trolls? Especially based on misinformation? Berkeley is no stranger to controversy, after having founded the Free Speech Movement, I dare say that Berkeley and UC's not having a limit on Asian American enrollment is the new alarming source of controversy for the past 15, 20 years for outsiders of the UC system. </p>

<p>While I agree with those that say Berkeley undergraduate could use improvement (what university doesn't need improvement?) it is Berkeley's revolutionary policies that most of the Berkeley bashers disagree with, make no mistake. Some of the trolling going on here can be seen as something motivated by something deeper, much much deeper. </p>

<p>Read the article and some of the comments there for an inside look on what people REALLY think. And why schools like Berkeley and UCLA present such a threat to the establishment. </p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>What were the authors smoking when they wrote the following</p>

<p>"Eurocentric worldview imposed by the courses. Not to mention the lousy weather, bland food and having to put up with locals hostile toward Asians. Contrast all this against the majority-ease lifestyles enjoyed by the AA in, say, the UC campuses. "</p>

<p>the food in the northeast is just as palatable as that in california.
the weather is less agreeable, but then again, who chooses a college based on weather anyway?</p>

<p>I have not noticed any anti-asian sentiment</p>

<p>While some of the comments regarding legacy admits may be true, I think it is more a factor of having the right connections(which partly result from family ties but can also be made on one's behest)</p>

<p>all the other stuff is bs.</p>

<p>As for me, I got admitted to UCB with 13,000 dollars worth of FA yet I have chosen not to attend. My criticisms focus on the lack of agreeable housing, the large bureaucracy known as the administration, the overwhelming number of hyper-competive people with a "kill the curve setter" attitude, and the extremely large size of the campus which seems to disallow a lot of personal contact with profs.</p>

<p>berkeley makes its name in grad schools.... for undergrad, it isnt excellent</p>

<p>^ The hypercompetitive people are in MCB from what I hear. But that said, my friends with a 2.8 GPA from MCB get into top 15 PhD programs in biology because of the reputation of Berkeley's undergraduate science programs. Some of my Haas classes, the people were competitive ( you can't get a Haas guy to give you their notes), but the curves are so lenient that Haas classes are the easiest classes on campus. </p>

<p>For the other courses, its pretty easy to find people willing to share and work together. All the times I went up to students and asked to borrow their notes, they were pretty friendly compared to what I have seen at other schools I rather not mention. Also, I think the lack of access to professors isn't as bad as one thinks in comparison to other schools. Students at Harvard complain of a lack of access to professors.


"Harvard students are less satisfied with their undergraduate educations than the students at almost all of the other COFHE schools," according to the memo, dated October 2004. </p>

<p>On a five-point scale, Harvard's overall student satisfaction comes out to 3.95, compared to an average of 4.16 for the other 30 schools. Only four schools scored lower than Harvard, but the schools were not named in the memo.


<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Personally, I had great contact with professors. Their office hours were usually quite uncrowded for the most part. Most people at Berkeley are too busy with their social lives and studying, and this image that all of us are worrying about big classes all day is simply untrue. Most graduate students I talk to rather take a large class taught by a brilliant professor (berkely has #1 rated faculty) rather than a smaller class taught by a TA (ivies are increasingly having TA's teach undergraduate courses). 4 years is a long time to live and the college you choose is the most important decision you make to your personal growth and intellectual development. Personally, I chose Berkeley over UPenn and Cornell. I had 6 AP's, 4.71 GPA, 1600(50 points above 1600 according to 1994 SAT scale)/800/730/800. </p>

<p>The lack of agreeable housing, that may have been true in the 90s, but nowadays, there is a glut of housing. Lots of new buildings, Unit 1 is completely renovated and it looks like a fancy apartment building now. There are lots of new dorms, I can't imagine housing to be more difficult than what I faced in the 90s. </p>

<p>From what I understand, Berkeley sends the most students to med schools, law schools, and business schools out of any school. This may be attributable to Berkeley's large undergraduate, but many people in investment banking that I know make it pretty far with just their Berkeley undergraduate degrees. </p>

<p>I admit that there is a bureacracy at Berkeley though. It seems to have gotten better from when I was an undergrad when everything wasn't computerized, but honestly, the bureacracy translates to about 2 early morning phone calls for appointments with your advisor, and 30 minutes of waiting in line per semester over private schools. Thats not that much considering what you get in return.</p>

True, it's not like the Berkeley bureaucracy will control your life. It's big, but you wont be working in it every day.</p>

<p>I chose Cal over all the other UCs, USC, and I had similar albeit lower stats.</p>

<p>Is Berkeley really a threat to the establishment? Well, I would answer that Berkeley was far more of a threat to the establishment 40-60 years ago than it is today. It was during that time when Berkeley was making a serious run at being the best school in the country. That was when Berkeley seemed to be winning Nobel after Nobel almost like clockwork. It was also during that time when Stanford was still considered to be a regional backwater school of little consequence and little repute. </p>

<p>Today it is Stanford that is the one that is making a serious run at being the best school in the country. Berkeley is not. The fact is, Berkeley did not keep up the pace that it was on during the 50's and early 60's. Somewhere along the way, Stanford surpassed Berkeley. It didn't have to be this way. </p>

<p>And besides, West Sidee (aka rayray222/california1600/californiapride/WestSide), you yourself admitted before that had you gotten into Harvard, Stanford, or Yale, you would have chosen them over Berkeley.</p>

<p>West Sidee;</p>

<p>the link you posted is just sheer drivel. I read it three times, and the posts were just illogical. The author of the first's so-called facts would receive a 1 on AP Stats review.</p>


<p>There is absolutely no way that any public school can provide the same undergradutate experience than can a private. I would suggest that the full undergraduate experiences at Pacific and Santa Clara probably beat Berkeley's undergrad experience. An extra $100k over four years buys a lot of grade inflation, hand-holding and pre-professional counseling, and, yes, less bureacracy. (btw, the UC bureacracy can be easily tamed for someone who plays the system.)</p>

<p>BUT, what Berkeley (and others like Michigan) have to offer is far different: the best education money can buy.</p>

<p>Bluebayou, why can't a public school provide the same undergraduate experience as a private? Public schools like the UC's have been providing better graduate experience than many private schools for years, sometimes decades. UCSF Medical School is better than Stanford Medical, and yet UCSF medical students (who are California residents, which most are) are paying significantly less than Stanford medical students. The Haas MBA program is better than the vast majority of private MBA programs out there, and cheaper to boot. So is there some special characteristic of an undergraduate education that public schools are unable to handle? If so, what is it? At the end of the day, education is education. Why is it that public schools that are so good at providing graduate education are not as good at providing undergrad education? </p>

<p>I would also question whether Berkeley really is the best education money can buy. I would point to my brother, who could have gone to Berkeley. Instead, he went to Caltech, who offered him the President's Scholarship. Not only did he not pay a dime to attend Caltech, Caltech actually paid him. So in effect, he actually paid "negative tuition" to go to Caltech. When you talk about the best education money can buy, you gotta admit, it's hard to argue with negative tuition.</p>

<p>I can also think of several people who are California residents and who got into both Berkeley and either Stanford or Harvard (or both), and then found out that, after their financial aid was calculated, that Berkeley came out to be more expensive than Stanford or Harvard. In some cases, Stanford and Harvard were not only offering full rides, but also stipends, and in any case, the total package blew away anything Berkeley had on the table. I remember one guy joking that he "really" wanted to go to Berkeley, but he couldn't afford it, so he had "no choice" but to go to Harvard, and take Harvard's offer of negative tuition.</p>

<p>I would also point to the new policy of Harvard's to provide full financial aid to anybody whose family makes less than 60k, and full aid in the form of 100% grants to those making less than 40k. Yale has announced that they will follow a similar policy, and I believe Stanford, MIT, and Princeton are soon to follow. Berkeley has no such matching policy. Keep in mind that the average household income in the US is only around 50k. So it seems to me that if you come from an average household, or especially from a below-average household (i.e. less than 40k), then the best financial deal you will get for your education is not from Berkeley, it's from Harvard. </p>

<p>The point is, I question whether Berkeley really is the best education money can buy, simply because it's very hard to argue with zero or negative tution at an elite private school like HYPSMC. I can agree that Berkeley is a very good deal for the California upper middle class (i.e. those making substantially over 50k a year, but not enough to be rich), but you gotta admit, offering the "the best education money can buy for the California upper middle class" isn't exactly the most inspiring motto in the world. It doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. I can also agree that Berkeley educates all the middle class and poor people who couldn't get into HYPSMC, where if they had gotten in, they probably would have paid less than they would have to go to Berkeley, once aid is factored in. But again, saying that "We offer the best education money can buy for all the poor people who couldn't get into HYPSMC" is also not the most inspiring motto in the world. </p>

<p>The point is, if Berkeley really wants to offer the best education money can buy, then Berkeley should actually offer the best education money can buy. I should not have to hear about people finding out that it costs them more to attend Berkeley than to attend HYPSMC. I should not have to hear a guy joking that he really wanted to go to Berkeley, but it was too expensive, so he has "no choice" but to go to Harvard.</p>

<p>Sakky, you keep spitting out the same BS. You can always find individuals that fit your criteria.</p>

<p>Why does Berkeley have more students that come from families making under $40,000 a year than all the Ivies combined? ALL OF THEM. How can this be if the other schools are such bargains?</p>

<p>And why do you keep comparing Berkeley to other schools? I thought you just wanted Berkeley to be better.</p>


<p>Congrats to your brother. CalTech is phenomonal (for some things).</p>

<p>your point about UCSF is not relevant, since it is a GRADUATE program.
But, if I understand it correctly, you suggest that since Berkeley has a great grad program, it should and could do the same for undergrad? I would suggest that the Legislature would not allow it. Talk to you local Assembly person (or read their speeches), and ask about their concerns for the UC's; they would disagree with about every point you make (many of which I concur with, btw).</p>

<p>You are absolutely correct on your point of free at a great school beats loans or cash out-of-pocket anywhere else. And, yes, anyone making $40k should go to H if they can get in, but as mini has pointed out repeatedly on these threads, those kids are minimal in numbers. But, you are only making my point for me: since the private schools can do what they wish with their money, they can offer merit aid to anyone they like. In Calif, our blue-blue state, merit money is extremely limited by the State Legislature; only Regent's and Chancellor's to a few. Thus, for that reason alone, the PUBLICS cannot compete with the privates in undergrad expereince, as I posted previously. However, the UC's (and USC, for that matter), have more Pell Grant recipients that all of the Ivies, and Standford, MIT, Hopkins et al.</p>

<p>Please suggest ANY undergraduate PUBLIC educations which offer a better experience than Stanford, H or P. Or, any state-run school with limited bureacracy? Miami of Ohio, perhaps?</p>

<p>Dstark, be careful, or you are going to get banned from CC. You can disagree with me or not. But when I disagree with you, I don't call your stuff BS. You have your opinions and I have mine.</p>

<p>Secondly, these are entirely separate discussions and I am treating them as such. This is not one unified discussion. That is why we have separate threads, after all. Otherwise, we should just have one big super-thread. I don't take stuff that you say on other parts of CC and use them here. Each conversation has to be treated as separate.</p>

<p>You also ask how is it that all the Ivies combined cannot have the same number of people making less than 40k as Berkeley does. First off, I would say that of all those people at Berkeley who make less than 40k, how many actually got into the Ivy League? Few, you must agree. And that's exactly what I said before. The Ivy League takes the extremely qualified, but poor people. Those poor people who are less qualified end up at Cal. Let's face it. You know and I know that a superstar student who comes from the ghetto is probably going to be better off, both academically and financially, by going to Harvard than going to Cal. It shouldn't be that way, but it is that way. If Cal really wanted to help out poor people, it should help out them.</p>

<p>Nor is it a simple matter of a few isolated individuals. The aggressive financial aid that schools like Harvard provide to the poor people it does admit has been a policy for decades, and in fact, has now been publicly codified with that <40k announcement. It is of course true that Harvard does not admit many poor people. But the ones it does admit get an unbelievable deal - far far better than anything Cal offers. And this has been true for many years now, and looks like it will be true for many years to come. </p>

<p>The point is, if Cal really wants to say that it is the best financial deal out there, then it really should be the best financial deal out there, and for everybody, not just to those poor people who were pretty good, but not good enough to get into HYPSMC. </p>

<p>Now to bluebayou, you are now following the track that I wanted this discussion to go. Berkeley can't get better because of POLITICS. And to that, I agree 200%. Political forces keep the Berkeley undergraduate program from improving. </p>

<p>But that of course begs the question that why don't those same political forces affect the quality of the UC grad schools? Why only undergrad? For example, why don't the politicos in Sac-town force UCSF Medical to open its doors wide to admit less qualified students? After all, what's more valuable to California, another fluff-major undergrad, or another doctor? It's quite interesting to me that the political pressure is exerted on the undergrad programs, but rarely if ever the graduate programs. It's also no coincidence to me that the UC graduate programs tend to be better than the undergrad programs. </p>

<p>And as to your contention that HYPSMC don't admit too many poor/middle-class people (hereafter called "PMC") , well, then that only serves to illustrate my point. Of course it is true that HYPSMC don't admit too many PMC. But as we know, they don't just admit random PMC, they only admit the very best people who happen to be PMC. What that means is that HYPSMC end up with the best of the PMC, and Berkeley ends up with those PMC who couldn't get into HYPSMC. Hence, HYPSMC skims the cream off the top, leaving the rest for places like Berkeley. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with that. It just calls into question Berkeley's assertion that they help all the PMC. They're not. They don't help them all. They're help only those not good enough to get into an elite private school. </p>

<p>Now, as to your last question, I think you're being unfair. I readily agree that Berkeley is arguably the best undergraduate public school in the US. But is that really good enough? Are you satisfied with it being the best public undergrad program? I know I'm not. That's like saying to a lady that she's the most beautiful woman in this room. I would rather have Berkeley be the best undergrad program, public or private. Why not - look at some of the Berkeley graduate programs, some of which are the best around, public or private. But that gets back to the whole political tack that I agree with.</p>

<p>One thing that can be done, fairly easily, to get around the politics is to shine a bright light at the bad students. There can be exposes of students getting A's in joke fluff classes for doing nothing, and of students spending weeks not going to class, and then asking the state taxpayers how they feel about their tax dollars supporting that. I think that not even the most craven Sacramento politician will support student laziness and people getting degrees for doing nothing.</p>

<p>^ Sakky. You fail to realize that Berkeley's incoming freshman class is 3500. If berkeley wanted to make their class just 1500 students, they would end up with an SAT distribution better than any university. </p>

<p>But they instead want more diversity than the typical stuffy private school atmosphere. I feel very lucky for having grown up in Berkeley. Being able to talk and converse with all types of people from all types of background is something that is very valuable to have. I met a lot of super rich students at Berkeley, from Richard Li's son (richest man in Hong Kong), to sons and daughters of multi billion dollar companies ( which I rather not name, but if you want you can PM me). You'd be surprised how humble a lot of these super rich students are. Sure a lot of students are not rich, but if Berkeley wanted it that way, they could.</p>

<p>Simply put, 3500 students incoming freshman class is what I prefer. I went to a small magnet high school with an average SAT greater than that of most top 20 colleges, and I wanted the big school experience at Berkeley. There is nothing wrong with letting in poorer students, it makes for what a true diverse California is all about. But I seriously want to have affirmative action back. But that is another discussion completely. </p>

<p>Sakky if you really want for the UC's to have the best education period, you should petition the state government to stop paying federal taxes immediately. We have to pay 60 billion more than we get in return to other states. Why don't we start from there and see where we end up? Berkeley offers a better education than many private schools out there, and the quality of its students given its large size, is as good or better than every school out there.</p>


<p>your last sentence is where your logic is spot-on, but politically flawed: "I think..."</p>

<p>The reason being, IMO, is that it is much easier for the politicos to whine about undergrad status of the flagships, than to fix the inner-city elementary and HS schools which have a 50+ dropout rate. The first gains headlines (what all politicians crave), the latter has few answers. Fixing education at poor HS's, would make better students for all, (and make it much more interesting in the HYP adcom discussions when they have more than one poor kid from an innercity that is qualified).</p>

<p>Could all the UC's (and Cal-States) be better? ABSOLUTELY, but, as has been noted, the state faces a deleterious economic impact: tax donor state due to federal largesse. where we only receive back 75 cents on a dollar sent to Wash DC. Texas, with similar school demographics, receives back $'s good to have your own Pres.</p>

<p>Sakky, Berkeley helps poor people by actually accepting them into the school.</p>

<p>What is so great about a deal like Harvard's if very few students can take advantage of it?</p>

<p>West Sidee, funny you would mention Richard Li. Very funny. Richard Li is the guy who was caught lying about having a degree from Stanford. You have to ask yourself - why did he choose Stanford as the school to lie about having a degree from, and not Berkeley?</p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Hey, I didn't want to talk about Richard Li. You're the one who brought him up, not me.</p>

<p>Now I completely agree that Berkeley is definitely a very good environment for some people. If you like going to a very big school, then Berkeley is a good place to go. I've never said otherwise. </p>

<p>However, it was you yourself, West Sidee, who admitted that if you had gotten into other schools like Harvard, Stanford, or Yale, you would have gone there instead of Berkeley. Why is that? Nor do I think that that's particularly uncommon. I think it's safe to say that a lot of Berkeley students (not all, but a lot) would have rather gone to other schools, but didn't get in. So you have to ask yourself, why is it that Berkeley is second choice to those other schools, and what can Berkeley do to make itself first-choice? </p>

<p>I also see you guys playing the 'budget' card. Guys, I think we're suffering from some rather short memories. It was only a few years ago when California was absolutely booming, and consequently the UC's were being showered with money from Gray Davis. UC budget increases in those years were some of the largest in the history of UC. So before you go around blaming the current budget situation for the downfall of the UC's, first, tell me what happened to that huge windfall of money that the politicians lavished on UC during the late 90's? Where did all that money go? </p>

<p>Finally, to dstark, I am not saying that the Harvard deal is great, I am using it as a contrast to Berkeley's supposed claims that they are really out to help the poor. If they were REALLY out to help the poor, then they would have no problem in matching Harvard's financial aid offer to poor students. You said it yourself - if there really are so few students who can take advantage of the Harvard offer, then it should be easy for Berkeley to match it, right? If it's so easy to do, then why not do it? I should never have to hear that a poor person gets to go to Harvard for less cost than it would be to go to Berkeley.</p>

<p>If Cal offered free tuition to every person with parents that made under 40 grand they'd be out of business. All in all though, considering that tuition to Cal in nothing compared to tuition to harvard, I think more poor students are given "full rides" (no tuition fees) at Cal than harvard. But, again, because of the size difference in the two school that's not saying much. I'm positive that there are more poor people getting admitted to Cal than Harvard, but there are probably more rich people too. So its a wash.</p>

<p>I didn't say for Cal to offer free tuition to every person who makes less than 40k. I said that Cal can offer that free tuition to every such person who Harvard admits. For example, if the person with that financial background can prove that he got admitted to Harvard, then Cal should provide a free ride. Either that, or if a poor student applies who Cal thinks has a very high chance of getting admitted to Harvard, Yale, or Princeton (for all 3 of these schools have announced that they will be following the 40k policy), then Cal will offer them a free ride. The point is, I no longer want to hear of another poor guy saying that he compared the choice of going to Berkeley and Harvard and found that it actually costs less for him to go to Harvard than to go to Berkeley.</p>

<p>Come on Sakky, we both know that if someone is offered a full ride to Harvard and a full ride to Cal, that person is going to Harvard 9 out of 10 times. As great as Cal is, a free ride to Harvard is not something that many sane people are going to pass up. The point is moot anyway because anyone with the stats to get into Harvard and a low enough family income to get a full ride would undoubtedly get a full ride from cal also, via scholarships and grants.</p>

<p>Students competitive in the Harvard/Stanford/etc. admissions pools are likely to receive Regents' scholarship offers from Berkeley that give perks like special advising, guaranteed housing, and grants to cover full financial need (cost of attendance - EFC). </p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a>
Look under the "Scholarship Benefits" section.</p>

<p>I don't know how much these perks might sway students admitted to both Berkeley and Harvard, though. Just another piece of information.</p>

<p>In truth the cost-to-quality ratio Berkeley for college is probably best for students coming from middle to upper middle class families ($80,000 to 160,000 a year in the Bay Area), who are likely to receive fairly meager financial aid offers from private schools but don't have enough money to pay for private school tuition without taking on huge debts.</p>

<p>Not so, like I said, I personally know of 2 people who are both California residents and who had gotten into Harvard, and Berkeley and when they looked at their financial aid packages, found out that Harvard was actually cheaper, because Harvard offered them a true full ride, whereas Berkeley's package was a combination of grants, work-study, and loans. In the case of one of them, I think that this person might have actually chosen Berkeley, because he had strong family ties to the Bay Area, and he didn't want to leave, but at the end of the day, he didn't want to take on any loans go to college (his financial situation was quite modest) and Harvard was offering him a true full ride, whereas Berkeley wasn't. This guy ended up doing very well at Harvard, ended up going to Stanford Law, and surely has a great career ahead of him. He would have been a great asset for Berkeley to have, but Berkeley wasn't willing to pony up the dough. </p>

<p>And besides, if what you say is true, then there's even less reason for Berkeley not to pony up the dough. You say that people aren't going to turn down a full ride to Harvard for a full-ride to Berkeley. Sure, I agree. But that only makes it even more egregious that Berkeley doesn't offer that full ride. You said it yourself - most people aren't going to take it anyway, which means you lose nothing by offering it, so why not offer it? What do you lose? </p>

<p>So you might ask, well why offer it if they aren't going to take it anyway? Simple. It's all about PR. Berkeley tries to position itself as being the best education money can buy. That's one of Berkeley's marketing slogans. For that slogan to have any meaning, then Berkeley should never be undercut by a school like Harvard making a better financial offer. Otherwise, what does Berkeley have? I think we can all agree that Harvard is, on the aggregate, better than Berkeley academically. If Harvard is also cheaper then Berkeley (for those poor people), then Berkeley really has no competitive advantage at all. Berkeley then truly does become the school of second-choice - the "mop-up" player to take care of people who couldn't get into Harvard. I don't want Berkeley to play second-fiddle to Harvard. I think Berkeley should try to vigorously compete with Harvard. </p>

<p>I'll put it this way. So Berkeley fully matches the offers to those people who got into Harvard. So what's going to happen next? Either the person still chooses Harvard, in which case it's no skin off Berkeley. Or, perhaps rarely, the person chooses Berkeley (like in the case of that guy I know), in which case Berkeley benefits by getting one of the top students in the country. Either way, it's a no-lose proposition for Berkeley. So why not do it?</p>

<p>"Sakky, you keep spitting out the same BS. You can always find individuals that fit your criteria.</p>

<p>Why does Berkeley have more students that come from families making under $40,000 a year than all the Ivies combined? ALL OF THEM. How can this be if the other schools are such bargains?</p>

<p>The simple answer is UCB has more students Ivy leagues are not state schools with 30,000+ students</p>

<p>"^ Sakky. You fail to realize that Berkeley's incoming freshman class is 3500. If berkeley wanted to make their class just 1500 students, they would end up with an SAT distribution better than any university.</p>

<p>But they instead want more diversity than the typical stuffy private school atmosphere. "</p>

<p>who are you trying to kid. Berkeley couldnt admit less. Its a state school its mission is not to be the best its to be great and educate alot more people at a lower price tag put simply. Berkeley has no choice as to how many people it admits only as to who. They have to admit there share of top 10% as California law and another chunk has to be JC admits. A school like Harvard and Stanford doesnt have to do anything thats why they can always hold an edge.</p>