After the school lost a lawsuit against a Berkeley neighborhood group, a maximum of 42,237 students are allowed to be enrolled next year. Even though 45,057 students are currently enrolled. And if the admission issues aren't resolved by decision day on March 24, the school will have no choice but to cut back on acceptances for on-campus students.
Over the past few years, UC Berkeley has gradually expanded enrollment to allow more students the opportunity to attend. With this expansion, there have been complaints about noise, traffic and concerns about the environmental impact of the large student population.
UC Berkeley appealed against the enrollment cap, hoping to continue expecting more incoming students. Many politicians, including California Governor Gavin Newsom and Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin, have advocated for overturning the limit.
But after the California Supreme Court denied the school's appeal, the enrollment freeze remains.
In response to the lawsuit, an email previously went out to applicants to inform them of the possibility of decreased enrollment. High school senior Max Schlosberg applied to UC Berkeley, and the news of the lawsuit was devastating.
"Imagine coming out of some of the most difficult times of your life, during pivotal high school years and looking forward to the escape of college — only to be thrown a curveball like this," Schlosberg said in a San Francisco Chronicle opinion.
UC Berkeley continues to hope for increased in-person enrollment. The university has plans in place to work around the enrollment cap by accepting online-only students, deferring some students to spring semester and keeping a longer waitlist in case the freeze gets lifted.