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UC Berkeley Press Release

UC Berkeley offers freshman admission to 270 students previously diverted to community college for two years

– Approximately 270 high school graduates who had planned to spend two years at a community college before transferring to the University of California, Berkeley, as juniors, are about to receive some terrific news.

Today (Tuesday, Aug. 3) many of them will open their e-mail to read congratulatory letters offering them admission to UC Berkeley as freshmen. The news is also being sent to them in the mail.

These students, all of whom signed up for UC Berkeley's Guaranteed Transfer Option program last June, now have the option of enrolling at UC Berkeley during its spring semester, which begins in January.

The offer follows a decision this weekend by the state Legislature and the governor to restore funding so that all UC-eligible high school graduates who applied for admission can be accommodated at a campus in the University of California system as freshmen.

"This is just terrific news for the students, their parents and the state," said Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl. "These students spent their high school years successfully completing the required coursework and doing all that was asked of them to distinguish themselves and make themselves eligible for admission to the University of California system as freshmen. Thanks to the Legislature, UC can now uphold its admission promise. We welcome these students to the UC Berkeley 2004-2005 freshman class."

Previously, state budget constraints initially forced the University of California systemwide to reduce enrollment by denying freshman admission to 7,600 UC-eligible students and instead guaranteeing them admission to a specific UC campus after successfully completing two years at a community college as part of a Guaranteed Transfer Option program.

Under the recently approved state budget package, campuses across the UC system can now offer these students freshman admission. Students offered the guarantee transfer program earlier this summer will be offered freshman admission at a campus in the UC system - though not necessarily their preferred campus - whether or not they signed up to participate in the transfer program in June.

Unfortunately, UC Berkeley cannot accommodate those students who had declined to participate in the Berkeley transfer program earlier this summer; they will be offered admission to another UC campus. UC Berkeley will accommodate about 270 students, all who returned signed statements of participation for the Berkeley transfer program earlier this summer.

UC campuses will also vary regarding whether students will be offered freshman admission for the fall term or a later term during the 2004-2005 school year. Because UC Berkeley's fall semester is just weeks away - classes start Aug. 30 - there is not sufficient time to accommodate these students during the fall semester. Many core freshman classes are already at capacity, and freshmen orientation sessions for fall freshmen have already taken place.

Students in the guaranteed transfer program will be offered admission to the spring semester with classes starting Jan. 18. A new residence hall will open in January, allowing the campus to meet its obligation to provide housing to all freshmen; the students will have more classes from which to choose; and there will be sufficient time to process financial aid applications and offer packages to these students before classes start.

These students have until Aug. 20 to decide whether they want to enroll as spring semester freshmen or remain in the guaranteed transfer program and complete two years of coursework at a community college before enrolling at UC Berkeley.

The freshman admission offer, as with all offers of admission, is provisional until the campus reviews the students' high school transcripts and verifies senior year grades and test scores to ensure that students met UC-eligibility requirements. Students must submit transcripts by Sept. 1.

Further, students who choose to accept UC Berkeley's spring freshman admission offer must enroll in a community college this fall, taking at least 12 semester units of UC-transferable courses including a mathematics course and an English course. They must maintain at least a "C" average.

It is unclear how many of the 270 students will accept the spring semester freshman admission offer, but campus officials expect that the vast majority of students will do so.

Richard Black, UC Berkeley's assistant vice chancellor of admissions and enrollment, acknowledges that these freshman admission offers are arriving late in the college admissions process and that students may have made other plans. But admissions officials are asking all of these students to give the offer serious consideration since an offer of admission to UC Berkeley is an honor and a major accomplishment.

Additional information on the guarantee transfer program and the new offers of freshman admission to the UC system is online.