Napolitano Set to Cap UC Enrollment

By: Mohsin Khan

UC President Janet Napolitano announced last Tuesday that enrollment for incoming freshman and transfer students from California will be limited if the state refuses to accept the demand to increase UC funding by $218 million dollars over the next five years.

With a record number of enrollment applications for Fall 2015, Napolitano states that the current increased funding proposal of $119.5 million, “does not even fund our mandatory minimum costs and certainly doesn’t fund increased California enrollment.” An additional $98 million is also required in order to stop the school from increasing the price of tuition.

Napolitano is hoping that with an increase of 2,000 in out-of-state students, the schools will be able to garner more funding through their much higher tuition costs. Unlike the other campuses however, UC Berkeley and UCLA will have capped the enrollment amounts for both California and out-of-state residents, citing the excessive demand and the competitive nature of the schools.

The UC system has claimed that the increased number of out-of-state residents attending the school has helped fund over 7,500 spots for California residents that would not be covered by the current amount of funding. On average, a California resident pays $14,000 a year in tuition while an out-of-state resident pays upwards of $38,000. This massive increase in tuition fees is what the UC system claims to help create more spots for incoming students.

With a recorded 20 percent of this year’s incoming freshmen reported to be out-of-state, some members of the State Assembly have been highly critical of having this dependency on non-resident students, as well as the 27 percent increase in spending across all campuses.

Every UC campus has had an increase in the number of applicants, with UC Merced having the largest growth at 14.1 percent and with schools such as UCI and UCLA having a modest increase of 7.7 percent and 6.5 percent.

While there is no plan to decrease the number of incoming California freshmen and transfers from last year, there will be a heavier focus on using waiting lists and deferred enrollment. To many this has removed the priority to educate students from this state.

“This tactic is essentially holding current and future student’s hostage, placing a cap on residents would be harmful for the state and our society,” president of the UC Student Association Jefferson Kuoch-Seng said.

“It’s good to have a mix of international and out-of-state students on the campuses. That’s the world these students are going to graduate into,” Napolitano stated in an interview with the Sacramento Bee. With the system’s push toward having more diversified campuses after several of the colleges, including UCLA, were met with scrutiny, this allows them to continue the rapid increase in low income and increased numbers of Latino and African-American students on every campus. She continues by saying, “The question is how much of a good thing is it, and how much is an appropriate number?”

With tuition projected to increase upwards to $15,564, a $3,000 increase, for California residents by the 2019 school year, Napolitano is still in the talks to see if this decision can be changed, as the incoming students will be notified of their acceptance this month.