Interesting Article on Enrollment increasing

<p>Master Plan in whole, not in part</p>

<p>by Sharon Hudson</p>

<p>21 March 2006</p>

<p>I was interested to read The Daily Californian’s recent article on the legislature’s attempt to accommodate enrollment growth at California’s colleges and universities (“State Bill Aims to Ensure Higher-Education Access,” March 1, 2006). These days few people talk about honoring California’s 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education. The plan has special moral authority because, unlike local campus development plans, it resulted from a statewide, multiparty process, and was enthusiastically endorsed by all California stakeholders. </p>

<p>I support all efforts to better prepare high school students for college and to provide more state funding for higher education. But when legislators talk about “adhering to” the Master Plan, I wonder exactly which parts of the plan they mean. I wonder if they (or the readers of The Daily Californian) know that the University of California, especially UC Berkeley, has violated the Master Plan for decades. Would they like UC to adhere to the entire Master Plan, or only to selected parts?</p>

<p>The Master Plan placed a student enrollment maximum of 27,500 on all UC campuses, with an “optimum” faculty-recommended enrollment of 12,000. The 27,500 maximum respected not only the needs of UC students and faculty, but also acknowledged and sought to limit the difficulties UC campuses create for their host communities.</p>

<p>By 1990, UC Berkeley had over 31,000 students, violating the enrollment cap. Under its 1990 agreement with the city of Berkeley, UC Berkeley agreed to lower its enrollment to no more than 29,450. But the university violated that agreement, too, with a current enrollment of about 32,000. It now intends to violate the Master Plan further, with an enrollment of 33,450 under its 2020 plan. And none of these figures includes the ever-expanding, for-profit University Extension activities.</p>

<p>But what about the “tidal wave” of new students? The Master Plan fully anticipated California’s population growth; in fact, the MPHE considerably overestimated California’s 2020 population, projecting a current population of about 50 million instead of the existing 35 million. But the 27,500 enrollment cap was considered so important, it was recommended in spite of massive expected population increases and a shortage of campuses at the time. And while UC Berkeley continues to expand, to the detriment of students, faculty, and community, there are plenty of underenrolled campuses both within UC and the state university (CSU) system—and cities that would welcome a larger campus community. </p>

<p>No stranger to hypocrisy, UC justifies its enrollment violations by citing its supposed “mandate” under the Master Plan to accept the top 12.5 percent of California’s high school students. But there is no such “mandate.” The plan recommended that UC “select from” the top 12.5 percent of California’s high school graduates; it had previously selected from the top 15 percent. The 2.5 percent decrease was recommended “in order to raise materially standards for admission to the lower division”—in other words, not to broaden access to UC, but to improve the quality of the student body by limiting access. There is no obligation under the MPHE to accept the top 12.5 percent, only to “select from” this group. California has a first-rate and extensive state college system for those who have not earned admission to UC.</p>

<p>Many students at UCB are dissatisfied with the education they receive here, especially given their hefty tuition increases. Current Cal students might contemplate how their education and housing options would improve if there were 15 percent fewer of them. Meanwhile, the arrogance of UC in regard to its public accountability, and the pay packages for its top administrators, is mind-boggling to many. However, it is not mind-boggling to residents of the city of Berkeley, who have struggled for many decades with both UC’s violations of its own regulations, and its arrogance toward the community that supports it.</p>

<p>I am delighted that someone is finally paying attention to the Master Plan. I wonder if the same people will now ask UC Berkeley end its chronic violation of the plan by rescinding the proposed enrollment growth contained in its 2020 long range plan, and returning to its 27,500 student enrollment cap.</p>

<p>Seeing that the new campus UC Merced was very underenrolled the past few years, it seems that Berkeley should at least keep enrollement around 31,000 and not keep increasing at the expense of quality. I beleive UC had a cap around 31,000 until 2005 now it has around 33.5K. According to this article no campus was to have over 27,500. Any agree or disagree.....comments welcome!</p>

<p>CC had a debate on this issue when that article came out in 2006.</p>

<p>I agree. In fact, I'd always thought that ~27,000 was a good estimate for Berkeley's and UCLA's size. Here's what I'd thought:</p>

<p>a) accept about ~8,000 freshman applicants with an expected ~43% yield (UCLA's is a little lower, so they'd accept more). The class size would be about 3,500. 3,500 x 4 = 14,000</p>

<p>b) accept ~2,000 transfer applicants, with an expected ~66% yield. So about 1300 transfers each year. 1300 x 2 = 2600. 14,000 + 2600 = 16,600. That means transfers would make up at most 15% of the student body.</p>

<p>c) That allows room for students who don't graduate in 4 years. Simultaneously, Berkeley should work to raise its 4-year grad rate to at least 75%, and its 6-year grad rate to 95%.</p>

<p>d) aim for ~9,000 grad students.</p>

<p>Under this, the best students could get in, without keeping out the "wow awesome students, how did you get rejected from HYPS?" This would also allow improvement in other areas -- more guaranteed housing (not sure that's necessary, as many choose to move out anyway), smaller class sizes (though its class sizes are already excellent), better financial aid, perhaps un-impact certain majors, more accessible resources (research, jobs, advising, etc.), and the like.</p>

<p>Of course, this is easier said than done. Faculty may have to be cut, etc. That's why I don't think much can happen until Berkeley increases its endowment -- probably more than $7b.</p>

<p>I think the yield is going to be around 50% this year, with applications up at many other universities also and the economic worries today instate tuition is going to look good.</p>

<p>I think a lot of people will go to 2-year CC to save money this year.</p>

<p>I'm still sticking to my viewpoint (as when the article was released) that the more prestigious UCs (Berkeley and UCLA) lower the incoming class sizes. It'll increase the caliber of the student population at these two campuses, and those students who were not admitted may choose to enroll at another UC and in turn increase the caliber of their own student population. It'll do great for the whole system.</p>

<p>^agree 100%....especially when some UCs seem underappreciated and underutilized.</p>

<p>^^ I agree. I think the 27,500 cap should be enforced.</p>

<p>Currently Cal enrolls 2000 transfers each year and it's just hard to imagine that the academic quality of this group is anywhere near the group of freshman applicants who just miss the cut. Furthermore, with a better reputation/ranking, the enrollment yield will go up, thus furthering the academic gap between freshmen and transfers.
Let's face it, majority of the high school students who go to CC are not by choice; rather, they simply can't get in a decent college. Since the level of academic rigor in CC is much less than that of a top 15% high schools, by accepting transfers in drove, UC, and in particular Cal/UCLA is seriously diluting the quality of the schools.
I think the first step towards de-crowding the campus is to eliminate the massive transfer program.</p>

<p>If Berkeley were to accepted only 2,000 transfers at most, that'd put the acceptance rate at 16% (which, to me, isn't bad). I also think Berkeley should eliminate 'spring admits.' It's just another way for Berkeley to take on more students that it can't fully support.</p>

<p>This is precisely why I will never send my child here. By the time my future child is 18, the school will probably have 50,000 students while tuition would be as high as a future Ivy's. Hard to believe that 10-15 years ago the tuition was a mere fraction of what it costs today. </p>

<p>And this is also why 90% of my lectures in my 4 years here have had at least 100+ students, usually averaging around 200.</p>

<p>I agree with sunfish to a certain degree. I'm not too sure about the facts, but I think the transfer admit rate is 40% while the freshman admit rate is 23%. Why not make them the same rates?</p>

<p>sunfish, I don't know what notions of academic quality you have in mind, but in terms of grades, transfers have historically performed comparably to those who entered as freshmen.</p>

<p>-prospective transfer seeking to dilute the quality of Cal/UCLA</p>

<p>
[quote]
Currently Cal enrolls 2000 transfers each year and it's just hard to imagine that the academic quality of this group is anywhere near the group of freshman applicants who just miss the cut. Furthermore, with a better reputation/ranking, the enrollment yield will go up, thus furthering the academic gap between freshmen and transfers.
Let's face it, majority of the high school students who go to CC are not by choice; rather, they simply can't get in a decent college. Since the level of academic rigor in CC is much less than that of a top 15% high schools, by accepting transfers in drove, UC, and in particular Cal/UCLA is seriously diluting the quality of the schools.
I think the first step towards de-crowding the campus is to eliminate the massive transfer program.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>While I do agree that there are students both freshmen and transfers who should not have been accepted into Berkeley at all, your ignorance is simply astonishing.</p>

<p>If there were no spring admits then there would be a lot fewer students on campus during the spring semester than the fall semester because some students graduate after fall semesters. Allowing students to matriculate spring semesters balances this out.</p>

<p>Most spring admits attend during the fall semester anyway, under the extension program...I don't think it's about balancing graduation out. Also, I think that if there were less people during the spring semesters, it wouldn't necessarily just be a bad thing considering how overcrowded the campus is.</p>

<p>Anyway that's not the main issue here...the issue is the huge population spike and the fact that this university is so overcrowded the quality is declining while tuition is rising. The university was already overcrowded, and now they want to increase the population even more? Did you guys dorm first year or what? 3 to a small, closet-sized room...700 people in a lecture hall. Even my discussion sections were large. </p>

<p>I wish I had gone to an Ivy instead: higher quality in everything.</p>

<p>
[quote]
I agree with sunfish to a certain degree. I'm not too sure about the facts, but I think the transfer admit rate is 40% while the freshman admit rate is 23%. Why not make them the same rates?

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Transfer acceptance rates to Berkeley from CCC have always hovered at around 29%. You're likely confusing it with UCLA's 40% transfer acceptance rate, in which case it's because of the large number of TAP certified students who have completed all the necessary courses with an overall satisfying GPA. I believe it's safe to say that the majority of those TAP students are no less qualified than their freshmen counterparts.</p>

<p>TAP? I think for certain Berkeley departments (more so in the humanities) the acceptance rate is 40%. I swear I read that somewhere. </p>

<p>I think transfers end up doing similarly well as freshman admits so there's not a difference there; I think the only thing is for graduate school transfers tend to be worse standardized test-takers (MCAT, GRE, SAT etc.) but I guess that's irrelevant in regards to the undergrad level.</p>

<p>Berkeley IS indeed overcrowded. I should have gone to Cornell instead. :]</p>

<p>
[quote]
I wish I had gone to an Ivy instead: higher quality in everything.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>So why didn't you? The Ivy League has, for the past decade, been quite generous in their financial aid packages due to their undeniably large endowments. This trend is rapidly accelerating at the moment because of the examples that Harvard and Yale have set in the past couple of years, significantly raising the income cut-off line for offering maximum need-based aid. It's not far-fetched to say then, that if one was to be accepted into an Ivy League institution, there should be very little trouble for attending as far as finances are concerned.</p>

<p>Without making reckless judgments, there are two possible reasons why you did not go to an Ivy League school. First is that their financial aid package did not work out for you, in which case Berkeley's tuition fees are still a relatively bargain and it provided you with a very good education while requiring you to pay a fraction of the costs of your regrettably foregone Ivy League institution. Second possible reason is that you were not accepted into an Ivy League, in which case the relatively generous admission policy at Berkeley have allowed you to attend a first-class university when the Ivy League had closed their door on you.</p>

<p>The fact of the matter is: the Ivy League will always be there and there is absolutely no barrier for any aspiring student to apply; anyone who's desiring of an Ivy League education is free to present their potential and capabilities to such institutions. As it is the tradition with such universities, however, the Ivy League institutions will examine and scrutinize their applicants much more closely and utilize every one of their available venues to make sure that an applicant is fit for their institution. Berkeley, in the mean time, is trying its best to provide a great education for as many qualified students as it can while keeping the costs of attending as low as it can. Benefiting thousands more students who, for a variety of different reasons, are not Ivy League students.</p>

<p>I would not for a second argue with the fact that there are things to be changed; things to be improved upon at Berkeley. Among all the flaws associated with Berkeley, one that I have observed through my own experience, is the astonishingly overinflated egos and the overwhelming lack of realistic perspectives of some Berkeley students. There is indeed legitimate concerns within these students, who were aspiring to be much more in high school but for a plethora of different reasons did not make the cut into the most selective universities in the world, and are now part of Berkeley trying to have another shot at their dreams for graduate school, only to find themselves among a greater variety of students, both in terms of backgrounds and intellectual caliber. This very same situation, however, could be applied to students who were "late bloomers" -- those that did not do well enough to be accepted as freshmen applicants but had found their way at a CC and proved their potential and capacities for succeeding at Berkeley. By the same token, I believe top institutions like HYPMS are very welcome of qualified Berkeley applicants to their graduate/professional programs.</p>

<p>There is much to be done at Berkeley for Berkeley, and I agree that both Berkeley and UCLA are currently accepting more students than they should be, but I believe improvements should be carried out constructively and positively. Trying to match everything Berkeley's doing to the Ivy League is neither practical nor realistic. Berkeley, along with the rest of the University of California are, and always will be, providing service to the public as public institutions, giving more people a chance at obtaining a first-rate education.</p>

<p>P.S. There are multiple points in my post that are not aimed at you, which is why I generalized the perspective. Please don't take it personally.</p>

<p>
[quote]
So why didn't you?

[/quote]

I actually applied to Berkeley as an out-of-stater and I attended Berkeley because my father wanted me to. I am receiving financial aid here, so it is okay, but still not worth it.</p>

<p>I applied to lower Ivies and was accepted, but did not go because somehow my father (who is Asian) thinks that Berkeley is comparable to Stanford. In Asian countries, Berkeley is frequently touted along with the names of Stanford and MIT. </p>

<p>I attended Berkeley because of 1) my father 2) I expected much more than what I got out of it. As a freshman I thought I would get much more than I have received in my four years.</p>

<p>I am doing decently here, but still, I would never send my child here. This institution is over-rated in many respects.</p>

<p>Also, I am guessing that you are not a student at Berkeley...if you spend more time here, you will understand where I am coming from. I really wish I could turn back time and only apply to every single Ivy, but that's impossible.</p>

<p>All I know is, I will never send my child here.</p>