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UC Under Fire For Favoring Nonresident Students

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Sacramento, CA – Findings released this week by the State Auditor’s Office that criticize the University of California’s (UC) enrollment system for favoring out-of-state students are stirring up a storm of controversy.

At a Tuesday press conference, Chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, Assemblymember Jose Medina stated that the audit findings reinforce already widely held concerns over the growing rate of nonresident students and what it means to California students. He is one of the authors of AB 1711, which seeks to cap the number of nonresidents that UC may enroll.

Commenting on findings that UC lowered the admission standard for nonresidents over a three-year period, which resulted in the admission of 16,000 with lower academic qualifications than the median for the residents who were admitted, Chair of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez remarked, “What is most disturbing to me, as a Member, is how can we lower these standards for out-of-state students, to fill these spots that in-state students should be having?” To view results of the State Auditor’s investigation, click here. He announced at the press conference that he was calling an oversight hearing on the results of the audit for Wednesday (today) at the State Capitol.

UC chose to release its own report, which it calls “Straight Talk On Hot-Button Issues: UC Admissions, Finances and Transparency” (here), rather than simply answer to the findings. It disputes the State Auditor’s interpretation of a number of data points.

Among the policies outlined in the report, the University maintains that every California high school student applicant and community college transfer applicant who meet its admission eligibility criteria are accepted to one of its campuses. It also states that for the coming school year UC will enroll 5,000 more in-state resident undergraduates than it did in 2014-15 as well as an additional 5,000 California undergraduates the following two years. UC, which currently handles the admission of California students independently from out-of-state student enrollment, claims that, as the latter group generally pays triple the tuition costs, those proceeds support the University’s ability to provide quality academic programs and services for all students.


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