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Executive Summary

California is home to renowned public university systems, educating thousands of students every year and helping them build strong futures for themselves and their communities. The right to education is fundamental to the well-being of students and the larger society as research shows that more education can promote healthier lives and is associated with better employment prospects. Due to these benefits, California prospers when its high school students continue their education and attend college. With estimates showing about 40% of jobs in California will require a bachelor’s degree in less than a decade, access to higher education is critical to California’s prosperity.

However, California is failing to set students up for this future. This report shows that California’s public universities do not provide equal access to higher education based solely on merit. This problem is due in part to course requirements that create an inequitable barrier to admission for many students who do not have an equal opportunity to fulfill them successfully. The report also explores data concerning which students are most affected by this barrier and offers recommendations for how the universities and public high schools can improve college access for all of California’s students to build a stronger future for young people and communities.

In this report learn more about:

  • CSU and UC Base Eligibility for Admission on Completion of Specific Courses
  • How Discrepancies Among High Schools, CSU, and UC Requirements Put Burden on Students
  • Course Requirements Inconsistent with High School Standards Create an Inequitable Barrier to CSU and UC
  • Disparities in Satisfying CSU and UC Course Requirements Reflect Societal and Educational Inequities
  • Policymakers Can Improve CSU and UC Access by Reforming Course Requirements

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