A California state audit has found that the University of California wrongly admitted at least 64 wealthy students over the past six years as “favors to donors, family, and friends." The California State Auditor also found in the audit released Tuesday that campus staff falsely designated 22 of the applicants as student-athlete recruits because of donations from or as favors to well-connected families, reports the AP. One campus, the University of California, Berkeley, admitted 42 applicants through its regular admissions process based on connections to staff, leadership, and donors, but those applicants were not as qualified as others who were denied admission, the audit found.
The audit was conducted in response to the national college admissions scandal last year that embroiled prestigious universities around the country, athletic coaches, and dozens of wealthy parents. Those investigations previously identified at least three students at UCLA and UC Berkeley who were improperly admitted. California State Auditor Elaine Howle found that staff were insufficiently trained and supervised in reviewing applications, "which led to inconsistent reviews" and affected admissions. "The Office of the President has allowed weaknesses to persist for years and has not ensured the admissions policies and processes have been consistently and fairly applied from campus to campus," the audit said. Howle recommended that the president require campuses to verify athletic talent and review donation records before admitting prospective student athletes.
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