Out-of-State UC Admit Rate Is a Necessary Evil
In these tough economic times, all universities, especially public universities, are struggling to maintain their strained budgets. The University of California (UC) system is no exception; its budget has been cut by over twenty percent, and more cuts are yet to come. As a result, many UCs are seeking alternative revenue sources besides the money given to them directly by the state. The popular solution to these fiscal problems is to admit more students from outside of California, who have to pay almost twice as much in tuition and fees as their Californian counterparts. However, while this plan provides vital funds to schools that desperately need them, it also adversely affects the Californian student body.
This system–wide financial need felt by the UCs is pushing out needy and worthy Californian students. Out–of–state admissions have almost doubled from seven to thirteen percent in just two years, while the total number of admitted students remains the same. This trend is prominent among the most highly respected universities in the system, such as UC Los Angeles and UC Berkeley. Because of their prestigious reputations, students from across the country flock to these campuses, making up over a quarter of their combined student body. California citizenship, once a great advantage to high school students, has become viewed as a financial burden by the UCs.
The new influx of out-of-state students hurts chances for Californians, and the trend is most detrimental to the large Asian American population in the northwest, which is largely being replaced by competitive Chinese students, leading to a startling forty–four percent drop in enrollment of Californian Asian students. Across the board, California students are under fire.
This trend in state–funded universities displays a concerning shift to privatization of higher education. State schools were once designed to cater to locals, with a few farther flung students here and there; at the beginning of the decade, less than ten percent of the group was out–of–state students. Now, many West Coast public schools are actively promoting themselves on the East Coast to attract more students from out of state to apply. This, combined with tuition hikes and slow decline in scholarships offered, has lead some to believe the whole UC system is becoming more of a private than a state school system. And this only adds incentive to other out–of–staters, who often have more funds and equal or higher qualifications.
This influx troubles many UC board members as well as students, but cannot be fixed without the levying of additional taxes or desperately needed budget increases. Out–of–state and out–of–country students may not be the best fits for California schools, but they remain the most obvious quick fix for the budget. Schools all across the country are following suit in a mission that could either reaffirm the quality of the public school or destroy it. Unfortunately, college bound students can only watch and wait.