Boxed in by looming budget cuts, University of California officials may look out-of-state for answers to the financial crisis at hand.
At a recent board meeting, some UC officials entertained the idea of increasing the proportion of out-of-state students in order to bolster revenue. Non-resident undergraduate students currently pay approximately $20,000 more in tuition fees each year than resident students.
However, according to UC spokesman Brad Hayward, the suggestion has yet to receive serious consideration from most of the Regents.
“It is important to understand that members of the Board of Regents are allowed to make suggestions about policy proposals,” Hayward said. “Historically, we have believed that it is important as a state institution to serve California’s students first and foremost. There is no current proposal on the table that would change this.”
Christine Van Gieson, UCSB’s Admissions Director, said there are definite incentives to bringing in more out-of-state students.
“It is true that non-resident students pay full-freight, and there that can help campuses in terms of budget,” Van Gieson said. “I am interested in having more non-resident students – both international and domestic – because they bring a different, more diverse flavor to public education.”
Of the UC’s nearly 220,000 total enrolled graduate and undergraduate students, close to 10 percent come from out-of-state.
California Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi said non-resident students are an integral part of the UC system, but that intentionally driving up out-of-state student numbers would disadvantage eligible students from within the Golden State.
“There has been a long standing practice at the UC campuses to take out-of-state students, and that’s good, as long as it is not too much,” Garamendi, who also holds the post of a University of California Regent, said. “If you start chasing the money that comes with out-of-state students, you are facing a serious problem.”
Despite the monetary advantages, Van Gieson said she doubts the idea will result in any radical policy changes in the near future.
“I don’t think this is likely to be a big issue,” Van Gieson said. “It’s an individual campus decision, for each UC to decide. On this campus there is interest in doing a little more recruiting from outside of the state…but I don’t think we will be seeing anything dramatic in the next couple of years.”
Tiffany Armstrong, a non-resident student at UCSB, said she is forced to pay hefty tuition fees because of her permanent address in Oahu, Hawaii.
“I definitely feel like I’m paying way too much money for school,” Armstrong a second-year environmental studies major said. “It’s strange to be paying the price of a private school to attend a public one.