We reported today on University of California campuses enrolling more non-resident students in the wake of state budget cuts. Non-residents pay a nearly $23,000 premium on top of the full $12,192 tuition, and they are ineligible for state financial aid.
We follow up here with some more thoughts that we couldn't include in today's story:
After nearly 30 percent of its incoming freshman class for 2011-12 were from out-of-state - almost three times the proportion just two years earlier - Berkeley slightly reduced its non-resident admissions for Fall 2012, the lone UC to do so. The school accepted 12.6 percent fewer non-resident students for the upcoming year than for Fall 2011 - though still 110 percent more than it did for Fall 2009.
More out-of-state students agreed to come to Berkeley last year than the university anticipated, according to spokeswoman Janet Gilmore. "So, for 2012-13, we offered admission to fewer non-residents, anticipating that we can still hit the same 30 percent target without having to offer admission to as many non-residents as we did the previous year," she said in an e-mail.
The biggest non-resident admissions jump came at UC San Diego, which admitted 75 percent more non-residents for Fall 2012 than it did for last fall's freshman class. That is a significant increase for a university that already saw a huge leap in non-residents last fall.
According to UC registration data, UC San Diego went from 6.7 percent non-residents in Fall 2009 to 18.2 percent non-residents in Fall 2011. If the yield rates hold steady from last year, nonresidents will make up roughly 25 percent of the Fall 2012 freshman class at UC San Diego.
Like Berkeley, UCLA has traditionally had more non-resident undergraduates than other UC campuses, with 11.4 percent in Fall 2009's freshman class. That number crept up to 18.3 percent for Fall 2011.
Still, UCLA also admitted a far bigger freshman resident class - by the numbers - than it did in Fall 2009. Compare that to Berkeley, where the freshman class in Fall 2011 had 1,056 fewer residents than in Fall 2009. Or San Diego, where the freshman class had 777 fewer residents in Fall 2011 than it did in Fall 2010.
It's not clear how much of the resident dropoff at Berkeley and San Diego is attributable to the new focus on out-of-state students - it is also possible that some Californians had cheaper options at peer institutions. But the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office suggests that some residents that would have previously gotten in at Berkeley in San Diego instead wound up attending their second- or third-choice UC schools.
Top 12.5 percent?
One reader questioned our reference to UC's mandate to admit the top 12.5 percent of California high school graduates. That comes from the state's 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education.
For the first time this year, UC guarantees that the top 9 percent of graduates at any given high school will receive admission to a campus (though not a specific one), and that the top 9 percent of graduates statewide will receive admission. The overlap here assures that roughly 10 percent of high school graduates will get into a UC - for instance, a student who attends an especially competitive high school may score high enough to be in the top 9 percent statewide but not the top 9 percent at his or her school.
This is a drop from the guarantee for 12.5 percent statewide and 4 percent at any given high school.
To fill out the remainder of its 12.5 percent mandate, UC broadens the pool of applicants to include those who maintain a 3.0 grade-point average in UC-eligible courses, including those below the top 12.5 percent as determined by a purely academic matrix. Among these students, campuses use a more holistic review, which can include factors such as: the rigor of an applicant's high school studies; "special talents, achievements and awards in a particular field"; or "academic accomplishments in light of your life experiences and special circumstances."
UC maintains that this still represents the top 12.5 percent of high school graduates, even though it may not be the top 12.5 percent of graduates on a test score and grade matrix.
The Legislative Analyst's Office disagrees with this view and says that the new policy does not meet the top 12.5 percent mandate. The Analyst's Office suggests that it guarantees admission to roughly 10-11 percent of students, and then puts the next 10 percent of students under a new review procedure.