Although the University of California has committed itself to offering all eligible undergraduates admission for 2008-09, future applicants may get a different response.

According to a UC Office of the President press release, all 121,005 applicants who met the UC eligibility requirements will receive admission to at least one UC in Fall ’08, despite a potential cut in university funding. However, due to California’s current budgetary crisis – a deficit that may surpass $14 billion – the University cannot yet promise to admit all eligible students for the following year unless the state is able to allot money to cover the over-enrolled students of the 08-09 year, said UC Spokesman Ricardo Vázquez.

“Taking students without state funding is not sustainable long-term,” Vázquez said. “Therefore, we cannot commit at this time to accommodate any farther into the 2009-2010 year unless the enrollment growth is funded by the state.”

This admissions decision will put increased pressure on the budget, as currently the proposed state funding for the university is $417 million less than what the UC Board of Regents deemed necessary to maintain the UC’s current level of service.

UCSB Admissions Director Christine Van Gieson said, until the budgetary cuts are known, the effect on UCSB admissions is unpredictable.

“[UCSB may] not get funding for all the students we’ll be enrolling, and we typically enroll only the number for whom we get appropriate funding,” Van Gieson said. “But I don’t know what the [budget] picture is going to be and how that is going to affect enrollment.”

Meanwhile, Vázquez said considering the high number of applicants, as well as the growth of applications from under-represented students, the university felt maintaining their commitment was crucial to its mission despite the budgetary challenges.

“We’re doing this because we have a strong increase in undergrad applications this year, including many among the under-represented communities in the university,” Vázquez said. “It’s our obligation to continue meeting our commitments to students. These students have worked very hard to prepare themselves and meet eligibility requirements.”

Additionally, a press release stated that, while all eligible students will receive a spot in a UC this year due to the budgetary issues and increased applicants, fewer students may receive admission to their first-choice campus.