UC may restrict out-of-state enrollment

Aaron Lai/HIGHLANDER
Aaron Lai/HIGHLANDER

Nonresident enrollment — including out-of-state and international students — at UCLA and UC Berkeley will be capped for the upcoming fall quarter unless additional state appropriations are made, according to UC President Janet Napolitano. UC San Diego will also be limited to a nonresident enrollment rate of no more than 20 percent. Meanwhile, all other UCs will be required to keep their in-state enrollment flat.

“Absent (of) additional funding, UC is not in a financial position to absorb more California students beyond those we currently serve. As such, campuses have been instructed to keep their enrollment of California students flat, meaning that we are not in a position to add additional California resident students for whom there is no additional state support,” Napolitano said to a state assembly budget subcommittee on education finance.

In the last five years, the UC has attempted to make up for limited state funding by garnering additional revenue through out-of-state tuition. The 2014-15 freshman class revealed nonresident enrollment at 30 percent for UCLA and 28.8 percent at UC Berkeley, which served as the highest systemwide. All other UCs have an average of 6 percent, according to UC Media Specialist Shelly Meron.

Napolitano is planning to exact an annual tuition increase of up to 5 percent for five years if $220 million in additional state funding does not come through. Governor Jerry Brown is planning to allocate a little more than half that amount, which hinges on the UC freezing tuition and capping out-of-state enrollment for the following year. Both are in the midst of ongoing negotiations over the amount of state appropriations for the UC.

Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) held concerns over the UC’s spending priorities, remarking frustrations over the UC’s attempts “to use students as bargaining chips by agreeing to admit 2,000 new out of state students, but threatening to limit the enrollment of new California students.”

She furthered that the UC has the responsibility “to educate California students, not waitlist them.”

The Riverside Faculty Association (RFA) representing UCR faculty members supported the plan to cap out-of-state enrollment as long as California students are given additional spots for admissions. RFA continues to be a strong opponent of tuition hikes.

Chair of RFA Patricia Morton also pointed out that higher tuition paid by out-of-state students only benefits the campus admitting them as opposed to the whole UC system. “By admitting more than 20% of its freshman class from out of state, Berkeley and UCLA have reaped a windfall that is not available to campuses like UCR, which has a harder time recruiting non-residents,” she expressed.

ASUCR Senator Summer Shafer believes that increasing student participation should be a priority during ongoing negotiations. “I think that the focus from both parties should be finding sustainable funding, and not how different factors can be used as a political advantage,” Shafer said.

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