Governor Newsom Files Amicus Brief in UC Berkeley Enrollment Case, Arguing for College Access and Affordability

Builds on the Governor’s unprecedented investments in higher education and actions to create more pathways for success

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today filed an amicus brief in Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods v. Regents of the University of California, a case before the California Supreme Court that involves issues of college access and affordability, the state’s housing affordability crisis, and creating new pathways to success for Californians. The brief argues that the Supreme Court should block a lower court’s order capping enrollment while the ruling is under appeal because the order would undermine critical priorities of the state. Most notably, the order would force UC Berkeley to shut the door on over 3,000 potential college freshmen and transfer students — 1 out of every 3 undergraduate students who would have otherwise enrolled — disproportionately impacting students from disadvantaged or underrepresented backgrounds.

“We can’t let a lawsuit get in the way of the education and dreams of thousands of students who are our future leaders and innovators,” said Governor Newsom. “I urge the Supreme Court to step in to ensure we are expanding access to higher education and opportunity, not blocking it.”

The state, consistent with the Governor’s budget priorities, has made historic investments in higher education, including a total of $47.1 billion in the last enacted budget. Expanding college access is the keystone of the higher education vision, with the state supporting expanded enrollment of nearly 5,000 full-time equivalent students within the UC System and nearly 10,000 full-time equivalent students within the California State University System in the 2019-20 budget.

The Governor’s California Blueprint proposal builds upon these priorities by expanding access to education at all levels, with a focus on expanding enrollment for in-state residents and community-college transfers at the UC System, including UC Berkeley. The proposed expansion of access to California’s world-class higher education system includes the following:

  • For the UC System, beginning in 2023-24 and through 2026-27, increasing California resident undergraduate enrollment by more than 7,000, with a significant portion of the new enrollment growth occurring at UC Berkeley, UC Los Angeles, and UC San Diego – tracking demand from prospective students and families.
  • For the California State University System, beginning in 2023-24 and through 2026-27, increasing California resident undergraduate enrollment by more than 14,000.

In turn, both systems have committed – in exchange for historic investments – to close equity gaps in graduation, expand access for transfer students, create debt-free pathways, and increase by 25 percent the number of graduates entering into careers in climate action, health care, education, and technology.