State of Learning

Kiranmayi Methuku

University of California campuses seem to have discovered a new way to compensate for the budget crisis. For the 2012-2013 school year, nearly twice as many out-of-state freshmen were admitted than two years ago.

While California residents pay $13,200 for tuition, out-of-state students have to pay almost three times that amount – $36,078. As the UC and California educational system continues to struggle with money, UC officials are aggressively seeking students from beyond state lines.

The University of California at Los Angeles accepted 17.7 percent of resident applicants, while accepting 28.8 percent nonresident students, at 1,554 more students than in 2011, to the class of 2016. The largest numbers of nonresident students were admitted to the University of California at San Diego, which admitted 66 percent of non residents at 3,186 students more than in 2011 but only 32.1 percent in-state students.

With an increased capacity for admittance, students are questioning the UCís decision to accommodate more out-of-state students instead of California residents Though ultimately only about 10 percent of UC slots will be filled by nonresidents, every seat offered to nonresidents is a seat denied to California residents. And with the extreme selectivity of the UCs, every seat counts.

“It’s ridiculous what the UCs are doing,” said senior Ashna Haque. “If UCs have the capacity for more students, then California students should get preference.”

In an article published in the Sacramento Bee, UC President Mark Yudof defended the UCís decision. “It helps us support Californians,” said Yudof. “Our budgets were cut $1 billion dollars. We charge the nonresidents over $30,000 each, and it frees up some money to educate resident Californians.”

UC officials feel that nonresident acceptances should have increased a long time ago. Many public schools in the country admit a specific number out-of-state students every year to increase funding – the University of Michigan fills at least a third of the seats available with nonresidents.

Funding for the UC system has dropped approximately $1 billion since 2007-2008, and to compensate, UCs have been rapidly increasing tuition over the past few years. Because of this price hike, for the first time in UC history, student tuition covers more of the UCsë costs than does state funding.

“I do believe that California students should get priority,” said guidance counselor Sylvia Lam.

However, Lam acknowledges that admitting out-of-state students is an efficient way to deal with diminishing funding in the UC system.

UC spokeswoman Dianne Klein commented on the new trend of admissions to the Sacramento Bee. “We have the capacity to educate more students, whether thatís Californians or those from out-of-state,” she said. “We just donít have the money to do so.”