Although a record number of California residents sought admission to the University of California system this year, the 10-campus system plans to enroll a higher proportion of out-of-state students than ever before in an attempt to partially offset the effects of the budget cuts.
Systemwide, the UCs enrolled 3,592 more nonresident freshmen in 2010-11 than in 2009-10 in an effort to absorb a $500 million cut in funding to the UCs in Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed 2011-12 budget. This year, UCSB enrolled 200 more nonresident students — who pay roughly three times the tuition as residents — than in 2009-10. However, the increase has been most significant at UC Berkeley and UCLA, where roughly 30 percent of admitted students are from outside California.
UCSB Director of Admissions Christine Van Gieson said California citizens’ chances of admission are not adversely affected by the increased nonresident acceptance rate.
“The policies actually discriminate against out-of-state students, who need a 3.4 GPA to be eligible for admission, versus 3.0 in-state,” Van Gieson said. “We aren’t looking to cut California students, we are just looking to add nonresidents.”
UC officials expect out-of-state students to comprise less than 10 percent of the system’s student body despite increased enrollment rates. This year, the statistic stands at 6 percent.
Van Gieson said UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang personally expanded outreach to applicants across the country, making appearances in various cities including Chicago, New York City and Washington D.C.
“This is the first year that Chancellor Yang has held receptions outside of the state to increase interests and the yield on nonresident applicants,” Van Gieson said.
Amin Tavakoli, a second-year biology major, said the policy may lead to a disconnect between the amount residents pay into the system and the profits they reap.
“It doesn’t really change things for me, but I understand that lots of high-schoolers and parents are probably feeling frustrated that the state is looking elsewhere for students,” Tavakoli said. “If they are paying the taxes to support these schools, they should have priority in getting in.”
While the policy is largely a response to decreased state funding, Van Gieson said the campus will benefit from the wider range of perspectives nonresidents bring.
“Initially, [the decision] was due to budgetary concerns, trying to make up for some of the deficit in state funding,” Van Gieson said. “UCSB enrollment of nonresidents has generally been very low, and I think it adds richness and diversity to have out-of-state and international students, so I’ve always been for it. I think it’s a good move for our campus.”