University of California campuses are accepting fewer freshmen from California this fall, making good on a threat to boost revenues with out-of-state tuition if lawmakers did not provide more funding.
UC Davis will have one of the largest increases of nonresident freshmen among the UC campuses – 2,100 more than in 2014 – if all of them show up, according to information released Thursday. UC Davis has sent out 1,999 fewer acceptance letters to Californians than last fall.
Statewide, the number of nonresident freshmen accepted into University of California campuses grew by 3,453.
The university’s goal is to increase the number of nonresident students this school year by 250, said Dana Topousis, spokeswoman for UC Davis. She noted that nonresident students have a relatively low acceptance rate, and the actual number of incoming international and out-of-state students won’t be known until August.
The UC system has been admitting a greater share of out-of-state and international students in recent years to help bring in more revenue. Nonresidents pay a tuition surcharge of $24,000 annually on top of the $12,804 tuition and fees charged Californians.
In the past six years, the university has not received adequate enrollment funding for California students, said Dianne Klein, spokeswoman for the University of California. The result is 7,000 students for whom the university has not received state funding.
Systemwide, UC accepted 2.7 percent more applicants than in 2014. UC Davis held its acceptances flat.
“In April the president announced that unless we get more state funding for enrollment, we were going to keep enrollment flat, and that is what we’ve done,” Klein said, referring to statements by UC President Janet Napolitano. She said UC kept its pledge not to increase the number of nonresident students admitted to the flagship campuses of UC Berkeley and UCLA this year.
Democratic leaders have been pressuring the university system to prioritize California residents in admissions decisions over higher-paying nonresidents, who now account for about 14 percent of all UC undergraduates.
“It is disappointing to learn the UC is continuing the trend of admitting record numbers of out-of-state students, shutting the door to many California families,” said Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, via email. “In this year’s budget, the state provided $25 million for the UC to prioritize 5,000 new resident students. We hope the UC seizes this opportunity and renews it commitment to maintaining access for California students.”
Klein said the system has not accepted the additional funding, which requires the system to accept 5,000 new in-state students, among other things.
The limited seats come as applications to UC campuses are at an 11-year high. A total of 92,324 students were accepted as freshmen to one of the public system’s nine undergraduate campuses – 58 percent of those who applied. An additional 20,921 California Community College transfer students also have been admitted. Although Californians account for more than two-thirds of all the applicants given a spot, the 61,834 residents to whom offers were extended is 1,039 fewer than last year.
Only the campuses in Merced, Riverside and San Diego admitted more resident students than they did a year ago.
“With more students applying and more doing well and the same number of spaces, we have more disappointed students and their families,” Klein said.
At UC Davis, the additional tuition from nonresident students helps fund undergraduate financial aid, pay teaching assistants, provide graduate student fellowships and provide support services for international students and graduate students, according to the university.