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UC Admissions Policies Are Put to the Test

October 27, 2003

Re "UC Berkeley Divided Over Admission Policy Criticism," Oct. 22: Those in charge of admissions for UC Berkeley should look into the disappointed faces of those students, like my son, who diligently studied into the wee hours of the night for top grades and who reviewed many months for the SATs just to win a chance at admission to a top UC campus. Although not everyone who is qualified will get in, at least give those who are in the qualified range the first opportunity. Otherwise, what is the point of working so hard for so many years?

Julia Dragojevic

Woodland Hills

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If UC Berkeley were required to accept all kids with high SAT scores, then wealthy kids who attend the best high schools and SAT prep centers would always gain admission. Such "high achievers" normally receive offers from other prestigious universities as well and don't have to attend Berkeley. But how many would want to pass up the chance to get an "Ivy League" education at a state-subsidized bargain price? Berkeley is doing the right thing by not shutting its doors to the few, relatively high-achieving kids from poor, minority neighborhoods who have the audacity to apply to Berkeley but don't have a chance at any of the "Ivys."

Kun Jin Rhee

Granada Hills

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The UC system is forgetting that community colleges were originally designed to serve as a way for students who had not yet proven their university readiness to raise their knowledge and skills so they could be better prepared for the rigors of university work. Something's topsy-turvy if the high-performing kids are rejected from the UCs and end up in community colleges while the low-performing kids are selected for the UCs.

The public universities need to have transparent admission criteria. It's time the UC release the applicant data by school, broken down by ethnicity, grade-point average, personal achievement and "life challenges" assessment. Only then will we know what's really at play in the admission process at our publicly funded schools.

Barbara Bronson Gray

Oak Park

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