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UC’s Enrollment Guarantee Gives Students An Education To Fall Back On

Aimee Ruiz was panicked. The four UC campuses she applied to had rejected her. Two private colleges had accepted her but not offered enough financial aid. She considered taking a year off school to work and save money.

Then UC Merced emailed to see if she wanted to enroll in its freshman class even though she had not sought admission there. “I was so happy, I remember dancing in my room. I had a future,” the La Puente resident said.

The offer, known as referral, is a tenet of the University of California — a guarantee that students who meet the system’s basic academic eligibility requirements but do not get into their preferred schools will have a place to go.