UC Berkeley on impact of enrollment freeze, strategies to accept as many students possible

ByKristen Sze and Yasaman Asgari KGO logo
Monday, March 7, 2022
UC Berkeley on strategies to accept as many students possible
The university has found ways to save as many undergraduate slots as possible, and does not actually have to slash enrollment by 3,000 students.

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- Fears over thousands of rejections alongside huge wait times loom over prospected UC Berkeley applicants. Since last Thursday's decision by the Supreme Court of California to cap enrollments at 2020-21 levels, administrators have been wrangling over mitigating solutions.

Dan Mogulof, Assistant Vice Chancellor in UC Berkeley's Office of Communications and Public Affairs, explains how the university is getting around having 3,000 fewer on-campus students.

"We are going to be able to offer admission to all of the undergraduates we plan to that's the good news," says Mogulof. Out of the 3,000 applicants, approximately 2,000 are undergraduates. Within these parameters, 1100 to about 1150 will be required to take their first semester online. With an additional 650 undergraduates deferred until January 2023.

As a graduate student, unless you are studying engineering, law, or business, things are less optimistic. Within the remaining 1000 student deficit, graduate students will see a flat cut of about 400 in enrollment mostly from smaller niche colleges. Meaning oncoming graduate students for next year will "come primarily perhaps solely from our College of Engineering or law school and our business school," said Mogulof.

RELATED: UC Berkeley ordered to accept at least 3,000 fewer students for upcoming academic year

UC Berkeley was ordered by California's Supreme Court to freeze its undergraduate enrollment at 2020-21 levels.

Furthermore, in an attempt to prioritize Californian students, Mogulof mentioned that Berkeley's incoming class of 2022-2023 will be made up of about 90% Californian residents, with the remaining 10% percent housing both out-of-state and international students.

Undoubtedly these measures will have a substantive impact on students' immersive and full-bodied experience at Berkeley. "We have no doubt that we can deliver an excellent education within the context of online learning," Mogulof said.

"But you don't need to ask me, you can ask any student. It's not the same. There's a reason we're a university that believes in the benefits of residential in-person learning. And it's just tragic that this unprecedented court order is going to stand in the way of us delivering that to 1000s of students (who have) worked so hard to have that opportunity."

RELATED: Judge orders UC Berkeley to freeze student enrollment over impact on neighborhoods

While there are hopes of legislative remedies that could lessen the blow for oncoming students, inevitably those deferred will see much longer wait times.

However, all prospective students will know their status at the same time as other universities. "We (are) not operating in isolation. UC Berkeley's sending out its letters (at) the same time as other universities and we want to make sure that students who've applied to UC Berkeley know what their options are before they make one of the most important decisions in their young lives," said Mogulof.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

While both undergraduate and graduate students have been affected, the university has "pulled out all the stops" in offering some form of enrollment for their new incoming freshmen and transfer undergraduate students.

While graduate students have bared the hardest blow Mogulof says to all students "we're going to work like heck to make sure that the experience you have at UC Berkeley is the best it can possibly be. We're also going to work like heck to make sure that the impacts of this unfortunate court decision are short-lived and minimal."

Watch the full interview in our media player above