The admissions office of the University of California, Irvine is currently facing intense scrutiny from outraged students, parents, and the media for rescinding 499 offers of admission to the university this fall. That’s right — 499. You may remember just several weeks back the brouhaha that ensued Harvard University’s decision to — rightly — rescind the admission of several students for their egregious posts on a Facebook page. That was several students. This is 499 students and the vast majority of these students’ offers of admission were not rescinded for racist, homophobic, or otherwise egregious actions. Rather, these students’ offers of admission were rescinded about two months before the start of fall classes largely because they failed to send in updated transcripts or their grades slipped senior year.
Shame on UC Irvine. Did they ever think about picking up the phone or sending an email to admitted students before rescinding their offers of admission because these students didn’t submit final transcripts on time? Likely not. Because it was in their interest to rescind these offers of admission to make room in an overenrolled first-year class.
We take no issue with UC Irvine rescinding offers of admission based on low senior year grades. They have every right to do this — it’s stipulated in the contract. Admitted students must maintain a 3.0 senior year GPA with no D’s or F’s within UC-approved coursework. If a student’s GPA slips to a 2.8 or if they earn a D, their offer of admission should be rescinded — we agree. But to rescind offers of admission because students failed to submit updated transcripts on time — even if this is stipulated in the contract (and it is) — it’s ridiculous. All UC Irvine had to do was send reminder notices to these students that their transcripts were due. And if they didn’t receive their transcripts after these reminder notices were sent, they should have picked up the phone and called these students and their parents. Applicants’ phone numbers are listed directly on the UC application. It’s not hard to pick up the phone and place a phone call.
But we, like many, suspect that University of California, Irvine wasn’t motivated to pick up the phone and remind these admitted students that their updated transcripts were due to the school. And that’s because more students chose to matriculate to UC Irvine this coming year than in past years. The incoming class was overenrolled. So the school — as they so admit — more strictly enforced the terms of their contract with admitted students. And if these students didn’t submit their updated transcripts on time, well, that’s a good way for the university to clear a spot in an overenrolled class. A spot like Ashley Gonzalez’s — who would be the first in her family to attend college. Ashley’s offer of admission was rescinded by the university just two months before she intended to start classes because she failed to submit her updated transcript under the specified timeline. She’s currently appealing this decision since the UC schools allow appeals. Have a heart, UCI. Have a heart. This just isn’t right to folks like Ashley Gonzalez.