Statement on Passage of Urgent Legislation: Preserving Access to California’s Public Universities
We commend the Legislature and Governor for swiftly acting on Monday to preserve the right of talented, qualified students to access a quality, public higher education. Together, the Governor and Legislature passed legislation that ensures the incoming class at the University of California, Berkeley can enroll on campus this fall despite a recent court order ruling that would have forced the campus to slash enrollment by 2,600 students.
As we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, our message to students and their families must be clear—California stands for opportunity and increasing capacity for students to earn a college degree. We cannot shut the doors to college opportunity and limit the potential of talented California students who have worked hard and earned their spot at our public universities.
Our 2021 report, Shut Out: The Need to Increase Access to the University of California and California State University, documented how the value of a bachelor’s degree only continues to rise both for individuals and the state. Yet, California has thousands more eligible students for our public universities than there are seats. California is turning away the human capital needed to stay economically competitive because of outdated university eligibility targets from 1960 and insufficient state funding for higher education.