UC Board of Regents proposes decrease in nonresident student population

Jessica Schwabach/Staff

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The UC Board of Regents, at its Wednesday meeting, discussed a decrease in percentage of out-of-state students to 10 percent by 2029.

Danielle Smith, UC Office of the President spokesperson, said in an email that the state requested the UC system to form a report discussing the potential impact of reducing undergraduate nonresident enrollment, with results to be finalized by April 2019. According to Smith, the analysis will not impact student admissions or tuition for the fall 2019 semester.

George Kieffer, the Board of Regents chair, said at the meeting that this plan would only commence “if the state agrees to fund fully the university for the revenue that would be lost.”

“I, like others, believe that the world’s best university ought to have a certain number of nonresident students,” Kieffer said at the meeting. “At the same time, we have a deep obligation to continue addressing the education needs of Californians within the context of the master plan.”

The regents also discussed that while state funding and other “core funds” have increased 8 percent since 2001, the UC system has grown by more than 100,000 students, which has caused funding per student to decrease by 32 percent.

The board previously voted in March to raise tuition for nonresident students by 3.5 percent, effective the 2018-19 academic year, in order to better accommodate growing UC enrollment. Sarah Ampalloor, a campus freshman from Chicago, Illinois, found the March tuition hike unfair in that “people from out of state or out of country have to pay several thousand dollars more” for the same education received by California residents.

Ampalloor said the current initiative to reduce nonresident enrollment would make the admissions process too selective and limit the university from the diverse viewpoints that non-Californians bring to the table.

“We need to have more out-of-state people too, because Berkeley is such an upstanding institute that everyone strives to be a part of,” Ampalloor said. “We want to have a diverse collection of people from all parts of life.”

Nuha Khalfay, ASUC external affairs vice president, said the UC system has been discussing ways to decrease spending and increase resources for years and that recently, the board has focused its efforts on tuition. Also an out-of-state student, Khalfay said it’s “a little disheartening” that the regents’ first proposal for a solution is to cut out-of-state enrollment.

Khalfay added that among the several reasons decreasing out-of-state enrollment is not the best solution, nonresident students introduce new perspectives to the UC system.

“Out-of-state and international students bring additional diversity to the UC,” Khalfay said. “It would be a shame to lose that.”

Contact Sabina Mahavni at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @sabina_mahavni.