A cap on engineering is a necessary evil to ensure quality of students’ education. Too many students and not enough resources will not help anyone — students, teachers, or administration.
However, it is the college's responsibility to give incoming students realistic expectations of their chances of getting into their desired program. Caps can create “moving target” expectations, forcing students to concetrate on staying within a certain grade percentile rather than achieving a set GPA. This sense of uncertainty makes it especially difficult for students to gauge their own their ability to join a major.
For students who do not make it into their departments of choice, academic advising must be up to par. If students pay money and don’t get into their dream program — even if they could have gotten into a similar program at another school — advisers must work diligently to make sure students still get the most out of their education.
If the cap is truly to be a measure for preserving quality of education, and not a strictly cost-saving method, the College of Engineering needs to reach out and show investment in each student's education.