Lately, Californians have been facing an additional obstacle other than meeting the academic requirements when applying to universities in their home state. The University of California (UC) system has recently been accepting more out-of-state applicants.
“The fact that UCs are accepting more out-of-state students makes me feel like I have less of a chance of getting in. It makes me rethink [whether] I want to apply,” senior Mark Yue said.
According to a demographic study conducted by the Daily Bruin, the percentage of Californians being accepted by all of the UCs was 71.6 percent in 2010 and dropped to 61.2 percent in 2014. In addition, only 16 percent of Californians who applied were accepted into UCLA, while 26 percent of out-of-state students and 17 percent of international students were accepted. Some students in California are restricted to choose to attend a private college, a community college or a less-selective state college because of how selective the UCs are being when accepting their applicants.
Moreover, as stated in the Merced Sun Star, the UC system has been more dependent on the tuition fees of students rather than the taxes generated by the state due to budget cuts. According to the LA Times, about one-fifth of the UC freshmen will consist of out-of-state students this fall, with each of them being required to pay an extra tuition fee of $23,000, providing the UCs with an additional $400 million in revenue. The out-of-state students have to pay the additional fee for the California state taxes that they have never paid for prior to attending the UC. According to the Southern California Public Radio, the additional revenue that out of state students pay makes up about six percent of the core educational budget that the UC system requires to maintain classes and provide financial aid to their students.
“I’m surprised that colleges are accepting more out-of-state students, but then again our financial aid and supplements are being paid off by the fees,” sophomore Christina Tran said.
As reported by the Huffington Post, UCs are generating the additional revenue in order to support California students; however, the UCs are violating the California Master Plan for Higher Education by doing so. The plan promises to give access to all of the state’s residents to some form of higher education, whether it would be community colleges, UCs or privates. By lowering the acceptance rate of Californians with equal or higher grades and qualifications than that of out-of-state students in order to gain additional funds to support themselves, the UC’s could be seen as not complying with the Master Plan.
“I believe that UCs are in the wrong, because we are the residents of their state, yet they aren’t providing us with [an] education, but rather [limiting] our acceptance rate for increased tuition fees,” junior Simon Voong said.
The UCs’ enrollment rate for future years is uncertain because of the actions they are currently taking to select their prospective students and their need to accept Californians.