Major Roadblock Placed in the Path of Black Students Who Want to Enroll at Berkeley

Faced with severe budget cuts from the state government, the University of California at Berkeley has announced that it will accept 600 fewer students from California in future years and will replace them with full-paying students from out of state or from foreign countries.

At the present time about 14 percent of all incoming freshman students at Berkeley are from outside of California. Under the new proposal this percentage will rise to 23 percent.

This new plan will make it much harder for college-bound black students in California to gain admission to the state’s flagship university. Since the enactment of Proposition 209 in 1996, race cannot be considered in admissions decisions at state-operated universities in California. As a result, black enrollments have plummeted at Berkeley. This year blacks make up only 3.1 percent of the entering class.

Now with fewer slots available for students from California, the competition for places at Berkeley will become more intense. Students with higher SAT scores and grade point averages will have the edge. Whites and Asian Americans tend to make up a huge percentage of the highest performing group.

Furthermore, UCLA and the University of California at San Diego, the two other most prestigious campuses in the state system, are also considering reducing the number of students admitted from California and replacing them with out-of-state or foreign students.