UC Board of Regents approves policy on nonresident student enrollment

The University of California Board of Regents approved a policy on nonresident undergraduate enrollment that reaffirms UC’s historic commitment to California residents by limiting the proportion of out-of-state and international students at its nine undergraduate campuses.

Under the policy, the first of its kind at UC, nonresident enrollment will be capped at 18 percent at five UC campuses. At the other four campuses where the proportion of nonresidents exceeds 18 percent — UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine and UC San Diego — nonresident enrollment will be capped at the proportion that each campus enrolls in the 2017–18 academic year.

“Our new nonresident enrollment policy strikes the right balance between UC’s continued commitment to putting California students first and the significant benefits that out-of-state and international students provide the university,” said UC President Janet Napolitano. “This policy represents a broad consensus achieved after extensive consultation with regents, legislators and other stakeholders.”

The state’s Budget Act of 2016 called for the UC Board of Regents to adopt a policy limiting the number of undergraduate nonresidents as a condition for receiving $18.5 million to support the enrollment of an additional 2,500 California resident undergraduates in the upcoming academic year.

UC is not only on track to enroll an additional 2,500 Californians this fall, but through an agreement with the state, it enrolled more than 7,400 additional California residents in fall 2016, the largest year-to-year jump in California resident enrollment since the end of World War II.

UC’s strong focus on serving in-state undergraduates is unique among many top-ranked public institutions. UC nonresident undergraduate students currently make up about 16.5 percent of total undergraduates systemwide, compared with an average of 27.9 percent for the public institutions in the Association of American Universities (AAU). In fact, all UC campuses enroll less than one-quarter of their undergraduates from outside California — well below the average proportion of nonresident enrollment for public AAU institutions.

“True to the university’s mission, our nonresident enrollment policy underscores our unwavering commitment to the students of the state under the California Master Plan for Higher Education by offering a place on at least one of our campuses to every California applicant who meets UC’s requirements for admission,” Napolitano said. “It also reaffirms our pledge that nonresident students will be enrolled only in addition to, and never in place of, Californians.”

The newly adopted policy also calls for the UC Board of Regents to review the nonresident policy in at least four years. Periodic review of the policy will allow the regents to assess its efficacy in maintaining and enhancing the educational experience and access of California students. 

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