California in many ways is a victim of its own success in preparing ever larger numbers of students for college.

That is one way to look at the recent flap over the revocation of admission offers to about 500 students at UC Irvine who had either not sustained their academic performance during their last semester in high school or had not submitted their final high school transcripts as required by university rules. The university backed off and admitted many of the students who were found not to be at fault in submitting their transcripts.

Receiving much less attention was this fall’s admissions overload at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, one of the most competitive campus in the California State University system, when about 700 more students than anticipated accepted offers of admission. Instead of rescinding their admission offers, Cal Poly scrambled to find ways to admit all the students.

Both incidents highlight the success of California’s public schools to prepare more students for college and careers — especially those students who have historically not been on a college track — and the challenges the state’s public universities are facing in serving them all.

These increases are a combination of not only population growth, but of students doing better in school. Compounding the numbers is that California has a higher college attendance rate than all but 10 states, and is 3 percentage points higher than the national average of 43 percent, according to the LAO.

So what needs to happen to meet the demand? LAO analysts offered recommendations including reducing non-California resident enrollments, constructing buildings already listed on strategic plans at some campuses, leasing off-campus space to be able to offer more classes, implementing “instructional efficiencies” such as expanding online course work, and increasing the hours instruction is offered, including on weekends.

Read the full article about California public universities by Louis Freedberg at EdSource.