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UC, Cal State should make more students eligible for admission, study says

April 22, 2010 |  5:13 pm

California’s two public university systems should boost the number of high school graduates eligible for admission and improve college graduation rates, according to a report released Thursday.

The report by the nonprofit Public Policy Institute of California recommends changes to the state’s 50-year-old Master Plan for Higher Education, which established admission guidelines for the University of California and the California State University systems.

The master plan now calls on UC to choose its students from the top 12.5% of high school graduates and Cal State from the top 33.3%, based on high school grades, test scores and other measures.

The institute said the numbers should be expanded to the top 15% for UC eligibility and the top 40% for Cal State by 2025.

Current levels of college enrollment and completion "are insufficient for the challenges of the 21st century," states the report by the San Francisco-based nonpartisan group.

The change could occur without lowering the eligibility standards because growing numbers of students are taking the high school courses required by the universities for entrance, Public Policy Institute officials said.

The study acknowledged, however, that the proposal faces significant financial hurdles at a time when the universities are reducing enrollments because of the state budget crisis.

--Larry Gordon