The University of California college system has instituted an enrollment cap for non-resident applicants to both UC Berkeley and UCLA.
The move follows criticism regarding the mismanagement of its budget, which led to enrollment practices that seemed to favor out-of-state applicants.
A March 28 state audit titled “The University of California: Its Admissions and Financial Decisions Have Disadvantaged California Resident Students” revealed that admittance standards were lowered for non-resident applicants in order to receive more tuition money.
Tuition of said students reaches almost double that of in-state students — the cost of attending UCLA ranges from $34k to $60k for in-state and out-of-state students, respectively.
The increase of incoming monies seemed a tantalizing prospect, as the acceptance rate of out-of-state students doubled at both colleges over recent years.
University of California President Janet Napolitano refuted the findings, instead alluding that the “softer” practices were a shift into more holistic acceptance procedures.
“[The study] makes inferences and draws conclusions that are supported neither by the data nor by sound analysis,” she wrote in a letter to California State Auditor Elaine Howle.
Specifically, the audit showed that over a ten-year period, 4,500 resident applicants were rejected, despite having test scores higher than those of non-resident applicants who were eventually accepted.
Acceptance of in-state students has fallen one percent over the same period of time.
While the system has put a cap in place in order to quell criticism of recent practices, it is not allowing for increases to in-state acceptance.
“UC is not in a financial position” to allow more California enrollees, said Napolitano at an Assembly budget subcommittee hearing. Effectively, she said, the colleges are being told to “keep their enrollment of California students flat.”
In a response to the state audit, the UC system issued its own report. It stated that the increase in non-resident students was in response to a budget shortfall.
UC spokeswoman Dianne Klein said that a 30 percent funding cut lead to the increases.