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Capacity Crisis Forces California Universities to Turn Away Students

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The capacity crisis in California’s higher education sector would see at least 144,000 college-bound students being turned away over the next decade.

The revelation was made in the report “Making Room for Success: Addressing Capacity Shortfalls at California’s Universities” released by the College Futures Foundation.

The report examined capacity in the California Community Colleges, the University of California, the California State University, and private California colleges and universities.

Students from three regions viz. Central Valley, Inland Empire, and Los Angeles with large proportions of low-income families and communities of color will be affected as a result of the capacity crisis.

“More California students than ever before are graduating from high school ready for college, but tens of thousands are being turned away,” said Monica Lozano, President and CEO of College Futures Foundation.

Depriving many high school graduates of a college degree has the potential to threaten state’s economy and hinder the career prospect of those from ethnic and racial groups.

“Meeting the projected shortage of skilled workers depends on increasing capacity at four-year colleges and dramatically raising the rates of college success for students from low-income families and communities of color,” Lozano added.

The researchers noted capacity crisis at the graduate level as well. Over the next decade, the advanced degree programs in health care and technology will have to turn away about 21,000 qualified applicants every year. The healthcare sector in the state is expected to see a 31 percent increase in jobs through 2030.

The report urged state leaders to address the crisis by expanding student success initiatives to guide students to their goals, creative use of campus space and create regional partnerships to align educational offerings with labor needs.

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