Tuesday, March 29, 2016

UCs Have Lower Standards for OOS Residents

A state audit released today reveals that the UC system is accepting more nonresidents, many of whom have lower test scores and GPAs than those of residents. In other words, it may be easier to get into a UC by being out-of-state.

"As a public institution, the university should serve primarily those who provide for its financial and civic support — California residents," says state auditor Elaine Howle. "However, over the past several years, the university has failed to put the needs of residents first."

The motive is largely economic. The estimated sticker price for OOS residents is $58,308, which is $24,708 more than the resident tuition and fees. The schools use the extra fees paid by nonresident students to balance out the budget cuts that cut funding by about one-third a few years ago. Another interesting note is that this report comes a few months after the announcement that incoming OOS (out-of-state) residents can no longer receive financial aid beginning in fall 2016.

The audit also reported that the UCs have kept their promise to admit the top 12.5 percent of high school graduates, but these students don't always get accepted to their first choice. In contrast, nonresidents usually get accepted to their first choice campus and outnumber the number of residents in impacted majors such as engineering. 

Personally, I believe this is completely unfair. The UC system should be admitting those who are qualified from California before reaching out to applicants from other states since this system was created to educate the students of California. Living here should be a plus factor rather than a disadvantage. 

What do you think? Should the UC system be placing "fairness" over profit maximization and other economic motives? Were the schools just doing what they had to do in order to keep the system running? 



Kristen Tamsil said...

This is a very difficult issue in my mind as UC is a public institution that is funded by public money. It is also a prestigious university that provides some of the best education money can buy in the world. Not being able to balance the budget may cause the quality of education, teaching, research to deteriorate. Should UC cut its own spending? Fire professors, close buildings and facilities to meet the lowered budget? Instead it raises tuition and admits more OOS to make up the budget shortfall. I believe this is the right thing to do to preserve the quality of education. However, lowering admission standard to accept more OOS students should not be done evenly across UC schools and the lowered admission standard should also not be evenly spread across. I.e., top UC schools with tougher screening should adhere to that standard regardless of the residency of the applicants to give equal chance.

Jared Mayerson said...

As Elaine Howle said, "the university has failed to put the needs of residents first." It's as simple as that. The University of California system is a public college system for the residents of California, offering a cheaper yet still high quality education to California residents. The fact that the UCs are taking students from out of state with lower scores than California residents in order to maximize the amount of money they receive is unfair and wrong. In a lot of cases, the Universities of California serve as an option for lower income families to attend an affordable college, while still receiving a great education. However, since they only promise to admit the top 12.5 percent of in-state high school graduates, not all of these needy students fall under this limited percentage. If the UC system has reached a point that they need more money, that is a problem with the UC system and the state of California. The students themselves, who are trying to obtain an affordable education, should not be hurt by a problem that is not theirs. The UC system is a public institution that is supposed to be serving the residents of California and is failing at doing its job.