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Californians Increasingly Shut Out of State’s Public Colleges

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — They were once the envy of the world for the access they offered to high-quality education for all students at a low price. But California’s public colleges and universities delivered something different to Andrew Hotchkiss when he applied for admission two years ago: a punch to the gut.

Hotchkiss, now 21 and from Fontana, Calif., was snubbed by the selective Berkeley, Los Angeles and San Diego campuses of the public University of California system, but never expected California State University at Long Beach to turn him down too. After all, any California resident who is eligible for a UC campus, which Hotchkiss was, is all but guaranteed entry to the Cal State system. For years, it was a safety net of sorts. That’s no longer true.