A scathing audit says California's biggest university was so cash-hungry that it changed its admission standards

The University of California System is frequently lauded as one of the best public education systems in the world.

But a scathing new state audit of the system tells a story of manipulation of admissions standards for financial gain, as the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The audit claims the university knowingly admitted out-of-state-applicants with lower qualifications in an effort to boost income from increased tuition.

“This report concludes that over the past several years, the university has undermined its commitment to resident students,” the audit reads. “The university made substantial efforts to enroll nonresident students who pay significantly more tuition than residents.”

In-state applicants pay $13,400 a year for tuition versus the $38,108 out-of-state applicants must pay.

The audit asserts that from the 2010-11 school year through the 2014-15 school year out of state enrollment increased a whopping 82%, while in-state enrollment decreased 1%.

It also claims “the university admitted nearly 16,000 nonresidents whose scores fell below the median scores for admitted residents at the same campus on every academic test score and grade point average that we evaluated.”

UC BerkeleyFlickr/John MorganUC Berkeley.

The University of California — led by President and former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano — fiercely disputes the findings of the audit.
“Unfortunately, the draft report that has been shared with us makes inferences and draws conclusions that are supported neither by the data nor by sound analysis,” a statement released online read.

It released its own report after being provided a draft of the audit that tells a vastly different story about its admissions process.

The university’s report says the number of out-of-state enrolled students has no bearing on the amount of in-state students the university can accept. It also states that its policies “overwhelmingly favour” California resident applicants.

Still, California residents have reacted to the audit’s findings with outrage.

“This is horrific,” Rohini Ashok, a California parent whose son was rejected from his three UC schools, told The San Jose Mercury News. “Someone has to go in there and figure out who is responsible.”

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