The University of California, Berkeley, has adjusted the expected number of students it would lose due to a court-ordered enrollment cap from the previously estimated 3,050 to around 400 total.
The updated figure was released Friday, one day after the California Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from UC Berkeley, thus leaving the order from a lower court intact. The enrollment cap was brought on by a lawsuit from Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods, a community group that successfully sued the university over its expansion plans, invoking the California Environmental Quality Act.
“The judgment applies only to students physically present on the Berkeley campus,” UC Berkeley said in a statement sent by spokesperson Dan Mogulof. “As a result, the focus of our new mitigation strategy is to provide as many California undergraduate students as possible with an offer of fall in-person admission and offer the remaining selected undergraduate students the opportunity to take classes fully remotely for the first semester and/or delay their enrollment by one semester. Every December many students graduate at the end of fall semester, freeing up in-person enrollment space during the spring semester that starts in January.”
According to details shared by UC Berkeley, more than 1,000 incoming freshmen will take online classes for the first semester before they begin in-person classes in January 2023 as the graduating class leaves campus; approximately 650 students, mostly transfers, will be deferred to January 2023; and roughly 200 current students will study in off-campus programs in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. The statement adds that “more than 400 new students, for the most part graduate students, who would have otherwise been at UC Berkeley this fall will not be enrolled here.”
Additionally, UC Berkeley “will create an expanded waitlist in case of timely legislative action.”
Phil Bokovoy, president of Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods, noted in an email that the organization had argued in court that UC Berkeley could accommodate most of the 3,050 students the university expected to lose. “We are pleased to see that our analysis was so accurate,” Bokovoy added.