The University of California, Berkeley, has admitted dozens of underqualified students, mainly rich students, based on donations and connections established during six years and rejected many other qualified applicants, California’s independent auditor has announced.
The auditor’s report issued on Tuesday found that 42 students who were admitted to UC Berkeley were children of donors or university employees. According to the review which examined admission procedures for six years, from 2013-2014 to 2018-2019, there are many other suspicions on the admission legitimacy of hundreds of students at Berkeley and on three university’s campuses.
Between 2013 and 2018, 64 unfair admissions took place in the UC campuses; among them, 22 were admitted as athletes but did not possess athletes qualifications or skills. In addition to this, the audit announced that an “improper letter of support” was directly sent to the UC’s Chancellor on behalf of an applicant whose chances to be admitted to the university were only 26 per cent, but yet the student was admitted.
17 applicants were admitted to study programs due to connections, donations as well as strong references by UC Berkeley’s staff in the fundraising office.
“In some cases, the campus appeared to admit the applicants in exchange for donations to the athletic department,” the report stated.
Among other things, the report highlighted that the family of an applicant offered thousands of dollars to a team at the UC Berkeley, the coach of which assisted in the admission of an applicant who was not an active and qualified sports player.
The audit’s findings have pushed UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ to come up with a statement. She claimed that the findings are “highly disturbing allegations of improper conduct in our undergraduate admissions work” and announced that the UC university would investigate the auditor’s findings.
According to Christ, the university’s policies do not allow applicants’ admissions based on connections or donations.
“No individual person (including the admissions director) can determine the final outcome of a student application,” she added.
UC Berkeley, UCLA and UC San Diego were the three first campuses in which the state audit investigated, suspecting of potential fraud which accounts to 60,000 admissions during a year.
Elaine Howle, a member of the audit, said that at least 400 students were improperly admitted as athletes through connections with staff members. Howle added that the public universities should have integrity and offer equal opportunities to all the students.
Meanwhile, a UC’s spokeswoman stated that all the improper admissions of applicants would be revoked.
Last year, the Varsity Blues Scandal included dozens of rich parents as well as the two famous singers Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin who paid a fake amount of $25 million to William “Rick” Singer during 2011-2018, to involve their kids to elite universities and colleges in an illegal way. Many parents and the singer who hired other applicants to undergo the admission tests on behalf of their kids have pleaded guilty.