Our View: Out-of-state student tuition will help UC schools’ finances


Amidst the California budget crisis, state officials are looking to all possible solutions to fix this money problem. And unfortunately for California residents looking to enroll in a state university, those in charge have just imposed an increase in the percentage of accepted out-of-state applicants, making it slightly harder to get into a university. However, this change will serve as yet another vital component in restoring the California budget. Remember, out-of-state students mean out-of-state tuition, and as far as we’re concerned, residents should be able to withstand a mild blow in the name of rebuilding California.

To encourage the likelihood of students enrolling from beyond state borders, some schools have lowered the cost of out-of-state tuition. In 2008, The University of South Dakota reduced tuition for nonresidents by 150 percent. They used this to battle the already depleting campus population, which at this point has resulted in two dorm buildings being shut down. That same year, California tuition was at a staggering $11,481 per semester for nonresidents — excluding the reduced tuition for residents of states belonging to the Western Undergraduate Exchange.

The Western Undergraduate Exchange program promotes studies outside of a home state while significantly dropping the cost of nonresident students. As long as the applicant belongs to one of the 15 states in the program, they will qualify for WUE. In California, this means paying about a thousand dollars more, rather than three times the cost of in-state tuition.

There has been nearly a 7 percent increase in non-California undergraduate students accepted into the UC schools since 2009. According to the Los Angeles Times, the number of these students has jumped from 11.6 percent to 18.1 percent in nearly four years. At UC Berkeley, an even more dramatic trend was observed where 31.2 percent of freshman admission offers were granted to non-California residents.

California state schools are taking a serious hit when it comes to funding. For decades, colleges and universities have catered to residents by providing significantly lower tuition for in-state students. Now, schools will welcome a higher percentage of out-of-state students, demanding more aptitude among Californians in order to be accepted into in-state schools. However, it’s a rather small price to pay when the bigger picture is restoring California.

Last year, 14 percent of those accepted in to UC schools were out-of-state students. So essentially, this is only a 4 percent increase. To be even more exact, the number of out-of-state students being accepted into UCs is 18.1 percent of 72,432 students. That’s approximately 13,110 students. While this might seem like a big number, it is still less than a fifth of those being accepted. It may hurt some, but the overall outcome will be beneficial to UC’s finances. 

In order to revive our educational economic state, we must understand the saying “you win some, you lose some.” Accepting a modest percentage more of out-of-state students might do some damage, but assuredly, it’s a very small amount taking into account the money schools will be receiving in return. In the end, it’s a game of give and take, and luckily in this case, it’s not so much give as it is take.

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