CNN reports The University of California “inappropriately admitted” at least 64 wealthy, mostly white students over the past six years as “favors to donors, family and friends”, the state auditor announced Tuesday.
The audit examined admissions policies and practices from 2013 to 2019 at four of the UC’s nine campuses – UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego and UC Santa Barbara.
“By admitting 64 noncompetitive applicants, the university undermined the fairness and integrity of its admissions process and deprived more qualified students of the opportunity for admission,” California State Auditor Elaine Howle said in a statement. “The university has also failed to ensure that campuses fairly and consistently treat the thousands of prospective students who apply each year.”
In response to the audit, University of California President Michael V Drake, who took over the job in July, said in a statement he took the findings and recommendations “very seriously and will do all I can to prevent inappropriate admissions” in the 285,000-student system.
“I have zero tolerance on matters of integrity and will do everything I can to ensure inappropriate admissions do not happen on any of our campuses,” Drake said. “I sincerely appreciate the time and resources the State Auditor’s office has committed to helping us improve and strengthen our admissions policies and processes.”
The audit was requested last year in response to the national college admissions scandal when several wealthy parents were arrested on charges of money laundering dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues,” which alleged that the parents used wealth and connections to have their children admitted to universities through means including cheating on standardized tests and bribing coaches to grant them entrance for sports they did not play.