What did happen was a sudden spike in enrolling out-of-state undergraduates, even as demand increased for spots at the University of California — and especially at the campuses at Berkeley, Los Angeles and, to a slightly lesser degree, San Diego. There has been plenty of grumbling by applicants, parents and politicians. Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, complained that “normal” students can’t get into Berkeley anymore.
The state auditor on Tuesday released a report that went well beyond complaints of rejected applicants. It accused the university system of admitting out-of-state applicants who didn’t meet standards set by the state’s Master Plan for Higher Education. And thousands of these non-Californians took the spots of more academically qualified Californians, the audit charged. This narrative counters the image that many admissions officials at popular flagships promote, which is that it is the out-of-staters who must meet higher standards.