UC regents vote to cut enrollment

January 29, 2009 12:04:09 PM PST
It's official. Freshmen enrollment on UC campuses will be cut next year by 2300 students.

The budget crisis forced the Board of Regents to cap enrollment Wednesday which means good grades no longer guarantee you a spot.

Wednesday's Regents' meeting was interrupted by a group of protesters asking for salary increases for UC employees earning low wages.

They were eventually escorted out of the building.

But, increases are not likely given UC's $48 million budget deficit this year and another $65 million in mid-year cuts the governor is proposing.

"There is no free lunch here. We have to cut. We have to balance the budget and we're going to do it," said UC President Mark Yudof.

One way to cut is by imposing an enrollment cap. The UC system is over enrolled by 11,000 students. The UCs gets no state funding for those students.

Yudof told ABC7,"The estimated cost, according to the department of finance of this is about $120 million."

UC President Mark Yudof says cutting freshman enrollment by 2300 students next year is a start. The majority of the regents agreed.

But, parents like Paul Walkup say it is unfair.

"I don't think it is fair. I think if the kids work that hard and they're told they're going to get in, they should be able to get in. I think a lot of kids get really disappointed when they find out 'I didn't get in,'" he said.

A possible tuition increase will be discussed next month.

Lindsay King gives tours to students applying to UC Berkeley.

She told ABC7, "I'm encountering students who really want to be aware of the financial aid options. I had a lot of tour participants today who asked me where the financial aid office is and I pointed them to Sproul Hall."

Also this afternoon, the Board of Regents' voted unanimously to freeze the salaries of top administrators at UC, including the President. This action will affect about 285 administrators.