- The University of California System doesn't properly verify documents provided in applications or adequately track students admitted for their athletic ability or other special talents, the system found in an audit of its admissions processes released Friday.
- At least one athletic recruit didn't appear on the team's roster after being admitted, an incident the system is investigating, the report states. It recommends UC campuses better monitor whether student-athletes are actively participating in their programs.
- The audit is the latest step the system is taking to review and strengthen its admissions processes after it was implicated in the Varsity Blues scandal last year.
Outgoing UC President Janet Napolitano ordered an audit of the system's admissions processes early last year in response to the Varsity Blues scandal, in which wealthy parents paid bribes to secure slots for their children at selective universities.
The new report builds off of an earlier audit, completed in June. Investigators recommended the system review donations more thoroughly to ensure they don't influence admissions decisions. They also suggested adding stronger oversight of students admitted for their special talents, such as athletic or artistic ability.
The system's nine campuses are expected to specify what documentation and oversight is needed for their special talent admits by mid-March, Napolitano wrote in a letter to the system's board members and campus chancellors last week.
"We are steadfastly committed to a fair and transparent admissions process based on student merit and achievement in the context of their educational opportunities," she wrote. "Unethical and illegal means to gain admission will not be tolerated."
A former men's soccer coach at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), resigned last year after he was accused of accepting $200,000 in bribes in exchange for helping two students win seats at the institution as soccer recruits. He alleged in court filings last month that several staff members there were involved in helping admit children of wealthy donors.
In response, UCLA said it strengthened its admissions process for athletes, according to a statement to the Daily Bruin, the university's student newspaper.
Other universities implicated in the scandal have also reformed their admissions policies.
Following separate outside investigations, Yale and Stanford universities said coaches would not be evaluated on their fundraising ability. And the University of San Diego crafted a new policy to ensure at least four staff members review each application for athletic recruits.
Selective schools are under fire for other aspects of their admissions processes. A group of students and civil rights groups is suing the UC System for its use of standardized testing in admissions, contending they discriminate against students based on their income, ability and race.
This month, the system stood by its use of the SAT and ACT as a requirement for admission, saying its campuses take into account whether students come from disadvantaged backgrounds and that the tests' "predictive power" has increased in recent years.
That finding runs counter to a recent study that showed high school GPAs were five times better at predicting college graduation rates than were ACT scores.