As Nov. 30 Deadline Looms, UC Pres. Calls on Students to Apply

November 19, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

There’s still time and many good reasons to apply for admission to a UC campus, University of California President Janet Napolitano said during a meeting last week in Los Angeles with ethnic media journalists.

We have to “debunk” the myths and “incorrect assumptions” students have that keep them from applying to a UC school, Napolitano told journalists attending the Nov. 10 meeting organized by New America Media.

Napolitano is pushing a plan in increase the number of California residents admitted to UC schools by 5,000 to 10,000 over the next three years, while simultaneously decreasing the number of out-of-state and foreign students. She hopes the plan will translate into a larger number of Latino and African American students system wide, but acknowledged more work needs to be done to convince students of color that California’s 4-year universities are both accessible and affordable.

“We have to blow a hole” in the misconception many students have that they they can’t afford to attend a UC, or that if they do attend they will graduate with a lot of debt, Napolitano said.

In reality, students from families with less than $85,000 a year in income pay nothing, and half of all student who graduate leave without any debt, she said.

While there is still room for improvement, according to Napolitano, the number of Latinos admitted to the UC system has gone up significantly and reached 22% this year. The increases can in large part be attributed to the larger number of students applying, she said. It’s also a factor of more people, education groups and activists pushing students to take the a-g courses needed to gain admission, she added.

The picture in the African American community, however, is far from rosy. Only 4% of UC students are African American. Napolitano said the University of California is stepping up outreach in the community to raise black enrollment. She encouraged the journalists to help get the word out.

Proposition 209, passed by voters in 1996, prohibits using race or ethnicity to qualify students for admission, so the UC has adopted other evaluation criteria that is more holistic and looks at things like a student’s socio-economic background, SAT scores, gpa, difficulty of courses taken and profile of the high school attended.

The top 12% of students are guaranteed admission to at least one of the 10 UC schools. It may not be UCLA or UC Berkeley, the most competitive campuses in the system, but they will be admitted, she said.

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