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State budget plan proposes lowering out-of-state UC students

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Three top University of California campuses would lower their share of out-of-state and international students and the UC system would add 6,230 more local students next year under a new state budget plan that Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders unveiled Friday night.

The state would cover the cost of reducing nonresident students at UCLA, UC Berkeley and UC San Diego from 22% to 18% over five years beginning in the fall of 2022, which would make room for about 4,500 California students over that period, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

The loss of revenue for nonresident students, who pay higher tuition, amounts to nearly $30,000 per student or $1.3 billion collectively each year.

The budget also proposes to provide funds to enroll the additional California residents in next year’s freshman class. The nine undergraduate UC campuses will decide how to divvy them up.

State legislators initially suggested lowering the proportion of nonresident freshmen students to 10% from the current systemwide average of 19% over the next decade. They said then that the state’s record $75 billion surplus provided a rare opportunity to take bold action and open up access to the UC’s. The system received a record number of applications for the fall of 2021 and many are frustrated over the lack of seats for qualified students.

Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting said that “limited resources” led legislators to scale down the plan for now and focus on the three most popular campuses.

UC officials say they share the goal of enrolling and graduating more California students and have added 19,000 more California undergraduates since 2015. They opposed the 10% plan, however.

“We understand and support the Legislature’s goal of providing more opportunities for Californians at UC, though we believe trying to achieve this through reducing nonresident students will potentially lead to unanticipated outcomes,” the university said in a statement

UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla said that when state funding declines, the enrollment of nonresident students helped offset tuition costs for California students and provides revenue to retain high-quality faculty and improve educational programs.

The budget is scheduled for a vote in the state Legislature on Monday, with Newsom likely signing it into law before the state’s fiscal year begins Thursday.

Associated Press

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