UC Irvine says it won't repeat last year's admissions debacle

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The University of California - Irvine has admitted its newest class of students, and now it's trying to reassure those students that their admissions letters are real and the school has not repeated its admissions debacle of last year. 

Last summer hundreds high school grads accepted to UC Irvine had their admissions rescinded. The university said many had failed to turn in paperwork. It turned out that administrators miscalculated admissions, upending plans for hundreds of high school graduates. 

This year’s acceptance letters are out and the university is reassuring students it has fixed the problems.

“UCI is committed to welcoming as many talented, qualified students as possible and we’re taking every step possible to assure the admissions issues of last year are not repeated,” said campus spokesman Tom Vasich.

An audit found that there wasn’t enough communication and training among the UC Irvine offices making important admissions decisions. Add to that the complicated process of calculating how many accepted students will enroll somewhere else.

After the audit’s findings, the university hired Patricia Morales as Vice Chancellor to oversee the university’s enrollment management and fix the problems.

“She’s working with our financial aid and registrar’s office developing the strategies to support our admissions and enrollment processes,” Vasich said.

UC Irvine, Vasich said, has sent out between 27,000 and 31,000 admissions offers to students in each of the last several years. According to UC data, the Irvine campus enrolled 9,545 new undergraduates in the fall of 2017.

While last year’s problems don’t appear to have affected applications to the university, students on campus are working to make sure the campus’s reputation remains strong among prospective students.

“It’s definitely made some potential applicants nervous,” said Tin Hong, an undergraduate student representative for the associated students.

The concerns he’s read on social media, he said, don’t surprise him because of how dramatic it is to have your admission withdrawn.

“Getting accepted to a university, saying that you’re going to go to a university, having all your celebrations, and finding out in the middle of summer, that wait, you’re not going to go,” Hong said.

However, he’s hopeful that the administration’s changes have fixed the problems.