As revealed by the UC Office of the President on Feb. 27, a record total of 80,289 students were offered admission to the University of California for Fall 2012. Out of that number, 61,443 admissions were allocated to California students, 10,309 for out-of-state students and 8,537 for international students. “We [need to] continue to honor the California Master Plan, finding a space at one of our campuses for all students who qualify for guaranteed admission,” stated Kate Jeffrey, UC’s interim director of undergraduate admissions in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
For many, the most alarming statistic was a 43 percent increase in out-of-state and international students. In this current economic climate, the University of California has communicated its need for more state funding as the number of applicants continues to grow. One of its remedies for the struggling budget resides in enrolling more out-of-state and international students who have to pay thousands more in student fees.
“To really determine if campuses admitted more non-resident students, you have to consider the number of applications received and the percentage admitted (proportional). Non-resident applications increased this year dramatically by 56 percent overall. Even though there are more non-resident admits in terms of sheer numbers, the admit rate actually dropped,” stated UC Riverside Director of Undergraduate Admissions Merlyn Campos. “Out-of-state students dropped from 60.7 percent last year to 53.9 percent this year and the admit rate for international applicants dropped from 64.1 percent last year to 61.3 percent this year.”
As for UC Riverside, a total of 18,375 students were admitted for the upcoming year. This consists of 17,053 students from California, 457 from out-of-state and 865 from other countries with admission rates of 61.6 percent, 65.8 percent and 57.1 percent, respectively.
In discussions with the UC Riverside student body, concerns arose about what more non-resident admissions meant for students from California. Natall Barsalon, a third-year English major, stated, “My concern as a California resident is that the rise in out-of-state students in the UC schools will force California residents out of state to schools…I understand the state needs to bring in more funding to the school, but then again they should not be looking at the students to fix and fund public education.”
Breanne Wong, a third-year biology major from California, shared a different viewpoint, stating, “UC is a public education system, so it is open for all students.” The UC has insisted that despite its growing number of out-of-state enrollment rates, it intends to remain below the 10 percent cap on total nonresident undergraduate enrollment.
Providing insight from a non-California resident was Kyle Summerhill, a first-year biology major from Arizona. “As the campuses accept more and more students from out-of-state, personally, I believe this will help the UC campuses financially and in the perspective value as well.” This later point was addressed in a report by the UCOP, which noted, “The fall 2012 class of students admitted to the University of California is more diverse this year.” The report also revealed that the number of admitted students from Latino and African American backgrounds had increased.
Campos further explained that the money coming from students from other countries and states would be used to help all students on campus for things such as laboratory space and faculty. “UCR has and will continue to admit as many California residents as the state provides funding. Our freshman admit pool for the upcoming Fall 2012 term is comprised of 92 percent California residents and 7 percent non-residents. However, the percentage of non-residents who will actually enroll for the Fall 2012 term will go down to 3-4 percent with the remaining 96-97 percent being California residents,” stated Campus.