University of California Goes for the Gold, Ups Out-of-State Admissions

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

When the University of California released its annual preliminary statistics on who applies to its schools for admission and who gets in, one mother of two high school kids told the San Francisco Chronicle, “I just want to make sure that UC isn't giving priority to out-of-state kids over kids whose families have been here and paying taxes all these years, and advocating for public education.”

But, of course they are and aren't very shy about why applications and admissions of out-of-state and foreign students are way up: money. Cash-strapped schools can make two to three times as much on tuition and fees and are adjusting their policies accordingly.

Admissions (pdf) of foreign students are up 18% since last year and 51% since 2012-2013. Out-of-state admissions are up 9% since last year and 25% since 2012-13. California students are pretty much flat-lined. Admissions are up 1.7% since last year but down half a percentage point since 2012-13.

All of this is happening against the backdrop of a spike in applications (pdf) by foreign and out-of-state students and a 4.8% increase in overall admissions to UC schools compared to last year. Foreign-student applications are up 20% since last year and up 62% since 2012-13. Out-of-state student applications are up 19% since last year and up 37% since 2012-13. California student applications are up .7% since last year and up 7% since 2012-13.

The statistics released by UC do not include people with  referral and wait-list offers. In the case of Berkeley, greater consideration of those on wait lists accounts for why its preliminary admissions are down 9% from last year.  The school has announced that it has raised its target percentage of non-California students from 20% to 23%.

Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks said when the dust settles, he expects 100 more non-Californians to be admitted than last year. They will be worth an extra $2.2 million in school revenue, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance John Wilton told the Daily Californian, not to mention all the extra spending money the kids may have from their wealthier parents to spread around town. 

Among other considerations while UC chancellors ponder ways to monetize the enrollment process is the state's Master Plan for Higher Education, which emphasizes the importance of allowing Californians access to higher education, including first-generation and lower-income students.

Not all of the eight schools in the UC system targeted non-Californians equally. At UCLA, 42% of freshmen admitted are non-Californians this year, compared to 18% five years ago, according to the Daily Bruin. It's only 4.8% at UC Merced and 10.3% at UC Riverside. The statewide average for preliminary freshmen admissions is 29.6%.

By the end of the enrollment period, UC expects its international and out-of-state student population to be around 13%—and growing.

–Ken Broder


To Learn More:

UC Berkeley Admits Even More Out-of-State Students to Boost Revenue (by Steven E.F. Brown, San Francisco Business Times)

Uc Berkeley Admission Falls 9 Percent from Last Year under New Enrollment Model (by Libby Rainey and Somin Park, The Daily Californian)

Enrollment Cap, More UCLA Applicants Lead to Fewer Admissions (by Jeong Park, Daily Bruin)

More California Freshmen Admitted to UC for Fall 2014 (University of California)

California Freshman Admissions for Fall 2014 (University of California)

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