Report 2015-107 Recommendation 3 Responses

Report 2015-107: The University of California: Its Admissions and Financial Decisions Have Disadvantaged California Resident Students (Release Date: March 2016)

Recommendation #3 To: University of California

To ensure that campuses' interpretations of admission standards do not adversely impact residents, the university should implement a thorough process to annually evaluate the qualifications of students who apply and students who are admitted. These evaluations should highlight instances when campuses admit nonresidents who are less qualified than residents and should include corrective action steps. Moreover, this evaluation should include resident and nonresident undergraduate enrollment in majors at each campus. The university should make the results of this evaluation—including details of the academic qualifications of students who applied and who were admitted—publicly available.

Agency Response*

In June 2017, the UC Academic Senate posted a revised report on its website that presents the relative, average academic qualifications of resident and nonresident students admitted to UC by campus. In addition, this new report provides, where available, measures of student academic success (first year GPA, retention rates, and probation rates), categorized by residency status and campus. This report applies to Fall 2016 admissions cycle, the last year for which data are available. This new report can be found on the Academic Senate at the following address: http://senate.universityofcalifornia.edu/_files/committees/boars/BOARS-2016-Compare-Favorably-Report.pdf. The Academic Senate will continue to report these data on an annual basis.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Completion Date: June 2017
  • Response Date: November 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented

The university has only partially implemented this recommendation. Specifically, our recommendation stated that the university should evaluate the qualifications of students who apply as well as students who are admitted. The BOARS report referenced in the response only includes the qualifications of admitted students. Further, the BOARS report only includes unweighted GPAs, rather than weighted GPAs. As we stated in our 2016 audit, when evaluating applications, the university uses weighted GPAs that give students extra points for grades C or better in honors or advanced placement courses. Thus, we would expect the BOARS report to include weighted GPAs. Finally, even though the BOARS report highlights several instances where campuses have admitted nonresidents with lower GPAs than residents, the report includes no corrective action steps.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

Agency Response*

The University and its Academic Senate are committed to ensuring that no campus admits nonresidents who are—on average and when evaluated across the broad set of criteria UC uses—less qualified than residents admitted to that campus. Compliance with this policy is evaluated each year by the Academic Senate and the results of that compliance review are posted publicly on the Academic Senate website.

Recognizing the desirability of even greater transparency in this area, the University administration is developing a new report that displays the relative qualifications of admitted resident and nonresident applicants, disaggregated by campus. The University plans to issue its first report (covering admitted students for Fall 2016) when final enrollment data for the 2016-17 academic year are available—most likely by June 2017. Moreover, as described in UC's response to Recommendation 1, the President requested that the Academic Senate review its "compare favorably" policy to ensure that it is consistent with the University comprehensive review admissions policies and the Master Plan. The Senate's Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools (BOARS) is collecting additional data to determine if there are other measures of academic performance that better illustrate UC's commitment to California residents.

  • Response Type†: 1-Year
  • Estimated Completion Date: June 2017
  • Response Date: March 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending

The university advised that it is continuing to develop a new report to display the relative qualifications of admitted resident and nonresident applicants, disaggregated by campus. The university's previous response noted a likely completion date of February 2017; however, this date was revised to June 2017.

As noted previously, the status of this recommendation is pending until the university issues the first report that displays the qualifications of admitted resident and nonresident applicants.


Agency Response*

See attached

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Estimated Completion Date: Spring 2017
  • Response Date: August 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending

In its attachment, the university stated that it will develop a new report that displays the relative qualifications of admitted resident and nonresident applicants, disaggregated by campus. The university stated that it plans to design this new report over the coming months and to issue its first report (covering admitted students for Fall 2016) when final enrollment data for the 2016-17 academic year are available—most likely by February 2017.

Therefore, the status of this recommendation is pending until the university issues the first report that displays the qualifications of admitted resident and nonresident applicants.


Agency Response*

Sent as attachment

  • Response Type†: 60-Day
  • Estimated Completion Date: Spring 2017
  • Response Date: May 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending

In its attachment, the university stated that it will develop a new report that displays the relative qualifications of admitted resident and nonresident applicants, disaggregated by campus. The university stated that it plans to design this new report over the coming months and to issue its first report (covering admitted students for Fall 2016) when final enrollment data for the 2016-17 academic year are available—most likely by February 2017.

The status of this recommendation is pending until the university issues the first report that displays the qualifications of admitted resident and nonresident applicants.


All Recommendations in 2015-107

†Response Type refers to the interval in which the auditee is providing the State Auditor with their status in implementing recommendations made in an audit report. Auditees must submit a response regarding their progress in implementing recommendations from our reports at three intervals from the release of the report: 60 days, six months, and one year or subsequent to one year.

*Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.


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