2019-113 Audit Scope and Objectives

University of California—Admission Policies and Practices

The audit by the California State Auditor will provide independently developed and verified information related to the admission policies and practices of the University of California (UC), including its efforts to detect and address fraud in the admission process. The audit's scope will include, but not be limited to, the following activities:

  1. Review and evaluate the laws, rules, and regulations significant to the audit objectives.
  2. Review and evaluate UC's systemwide admission policies and practices as well as the results of UC's internal investigations.
  3. For at least the UC Berkeley (Berkeley), UC Los Angeles (UCLA), and UC San Diego campuses, assess admission policies and practices by doing the following:
    1. Assess the factors considered when deciding which applicants to admit to the selected campuses.
    2. Evaluate fraud risks associated with the admissions process including, but not limited to, potential deceptive practices related to standardized test scores, high school grades, essays, and student-athlete admissions.
    3. Determine the extent to which donations, influence, and legacy factor into the admissions process. To the extent possible, evaluate the diversity of students admitted due to these factors.
    4. Determine the extent to which UC considers student diversity during the admissions process and report on the diversity of admitted students.
    5. Identify and assess any trends related to the admission of nonresident and resident students since academic year 2010-11.
  4. For at least the past three years, identify how many students Berkeley, UCLA, and UC San Diego admitted under its special admissions policy, with a focus on students admitted through the identification of a special talent or achievement. For those students, do the following, to the extent possible:
    1. Determine the categories of students admitted by exception.
    2. Evaluate the policies and practices related to verifying the eligibility of applicants admitted by exception and any follow-up performed by the campuses to determine whether students continue to participate in the sports or other activities for which they were admitted.
    3. For a selection of students, determine whether they are still participating in the sport or other activity for which they were admitted by exception.
    4. Assess whether the above data indicates any risk of fraud in the admissions process.
  5. Review and assess UC and campus policies and practices related to interacting with other entities involved in the admission process including, but not limited to, the College Board, ACT, and private admission consultants.
  6. Evaluate the sufficiency of steps taken by UC in response to admission-related recommendations in the California State Auditor's March 2016 audit report (2015-107) as well as other California State Auditor recommendations, if applicable.
  7. Review and assess any other issues that are significant to the audit.

California State Auditor's Office