UC Hopes To Expand Non-State Admission

State Budget Cuts Put UC Under Pressure to Meet Tuition Goal for Out-of State Enrollment

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Though UC Berkeley increased the number of admitted international students by threefold this year, the university hopes to attract even more international and out-of-state students, partially to reach a higher tuition target during budget constraints.

This year's enrollment of international students has already jumped from 118 students admitted in fall 2007 to 360 this fall.

The increase in international students this fall resulted in almost $5 million more in fees for the campus. The difference in educational and registration fees for an out-of-state student versus a California resident for one school year is almost $20,000.

UC spokesperson Ricardo Vazquez said in light of the state's almost $11 billion budget deficit, the university issued a directive last year regarding non-resident tuition goals, threatening campuses that did not reach their individual targets with budget cuts. As a whole, the university was 1,000 students short of its target.

The governor recently proposed a $65.5 million cut to the university, in addition to the $33 million cut it has already incurred. This decrease in state spending has so far resulted in a $5 million shortfall in UC Berkeley's budget.

The policy would involve an overall increase in the number of students enrolled in order to accommodate the additional international and out-of-state students. As a result, it would not decrease the number of spots allotted to California residents, Vazquez said.

"The university's position has always been focused on serving California high school graduates. Our admission policies are designed to favor in-state students," he said. "As a whole, the UC enrolls a very small proportion of out-of-state students­-only about five percent. The combined enrollment rate for international and out-of-state students is eight percent."

But in a statement issued last month to the state legislature, the UC Board of Regents said they would be forced to cut enrollment at the university if state funding continues to be inadequate.

UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau stressed that his main goal was to increase diversity on campus.

"His primary objective in increasing the number of international and out-of-state freshmen was to broaden the student experience, to have more California students have more interaction primarily with international students," said campus spokesperson Marie Felde. "He also pointed out as a revenue source, it's pretty small. Five thousand dollars to $6,000 for 200 students-it's not a big number."

At UC Berkeley, 12 percent of this year's freshman class comes from out-of-state, a number that is likely to increase next year, according to administrators. Eight percent of the undergraduate population as a whole, including international students, comes from out-of-state.

Carlo de la Cruz, ASUC Academic Affairs Vice President, said despite the financial hardships the university is facing, it is important that it maintains its commitment to being a public institution.

"I think it's necessary to make sure that California is accurately reflected in the student body," he said. "Increasing the number of out-of-state and international students won't be a complete detriment, but it will change the socioeconomic background of the student body in that those students would have to be able to afford the increased tuition fees."

Tags: STATE BUDGET, INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS


Deepti Arora covers academics and administration. Contact her at [email protected]



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