UC Berkeley ordered to freeze enrollment at 2020 levels

Mar 3, 2022, 12:25 PM | Updated: 12:46 pm

The University of California, Berkeley was ordered by California’s Supreme Court on Thursday to freeze its undergraduate enrollment at 2020-21 levels, meaning it will have to accept at least 3,000 fewer students than planned for the upcoming academic year.

Thursday’s decision is the result of a legal battle with a residents group called Save Berkeley Neighborhoods that sued the university for failing to address the effect of increased student enrollment on housing, homelessness, traffic and noise.

An Alameda County Superior Court in August sided with the Berkeley residents, suspending a proposed faculty housing and classroom construction project, and ordered the campus to limit enrollment to its 2020-2021 level of just over 42,000 students.

The school sent letters to applicants saying it would need to cut undergraduate enrollment by at least 3,000 students, sending prospective students and their families into a panic.

An appeals court last month denied UC’s request to lift the enrollment freeze as the case continues. The decision prompted Gov. Gavin Newsom to file a friend of the court brief asking the California Supreme Court to block the enrollment cap, saying in a statement that a lawsuit should not “get in the way of the education and dreams of thousands of students who are our future leaders and innovators.”

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UC Berkeley ordered to freeze enrollment at 2020 levels