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UC Berkeley responds to Regent Moores' report on admissions

– An Oct. 29, 2003 paper written by UC Regent John Moores and his two research assistants continues to contain misleading data and draws incorrect conclusions about the UC Berkeley freshman admissions process. As the paper itself notes in a disclaimer, "This preliminary report should not be regarded as the official view of the University of California or of the UC Regents. ... The preparation, printing and distribution of this preliminary report were not paid for by the University of California."

UC Berkeley's admissions policy and practices are fully consistent with UC Regents' policy on admissions under the comprehensive review process and the process has resulted in the strongest academic class in UC Berkeley history. Comprehensive review considers every student's academic achievement within the context of his or her opportunities and challenges. The very nature of a comprehensive review means SAT I test scores are not the sole determining factor in admissions decisions.

In Moores' paper titled, "A preliminary report on the University of California, Berkeley admission process for 2002," the admissions data provided to him by UC Berkeley is used in a reconfigured and misleading way. For example, it distorts what is an impressive first-year success rate for new freshmen admitted with SAT I scores of 1000 or below. In his report, Moores writes that the "drop-out" rate for these freshman (he excludes athletes) "is approximately two times higher" than for other students in the class, leaving the impression that as a group many flunked out. But this isn't the case. They may have left for personal or financial reasons, but none were forced out by poor academic performance. The data shows that 90.4 percent returned for the fall 2003 term, compared with 95.1 percent for the entire entering class. However one looks at the data, both are excellent success rates when compared to other public or selective private universities.

Further, the paper continues to mix data that are not related and lead to erroneous analysis. Numerous tables include students who later withdrew their applications, lump together applicants applying for highly competitive engineering majors with those applying to other majors even though they compete for admission in entirely separate pools, and include out of state applicants who also compete in a different pool. These errors have been inexplicably repeated in each version of the Moores report.

For these and other reasons, this report fails to accurately describe the UC Berkeley admissions process and outcomes.