California System Enrolls Too Many Out-of-State Students, Audit Finds

The University of California system is enrolling too many out-of-state students, at the expense of California residents, a new state audit has found. According to the Los Angeles Times, the audit was prompted by a request from a Democratic state assemblyman, Mike Gipson, who expressed concern that the university’s increasing enrollments of nonresidents — who pay higher tuition than California residents — has come at the expense of in-state students, particularly racial minorities.

Among other things, the audit found that while enrollment of California residents has increased by 10 percent over the last decade, enrollment of nonresidents has spiked by 432 percent. It also found that lower admissions standards had favored out-of-state applicants.

“Over the past several years, the university has undermined its commitment to residents in an effort to increase its revenue by recruiting and enrolling nonresidents,” the audit reads, in part.

The system’s president, Janet Napolitano, sharply condemned the report, saying diminished state funding had forced the system to rely more heavily on nonresidents. “To suggest from the outset that UC decisions regarding admissions were designed to ‘disadvantage Californians,’ as opposed to mitigate the impact of a 33% budget cut, is a rush to judgment that is both unfair and unwarranted,” she wrote in a letter responding to the audit.

Also on Tuesday, the system released its own report that sought to demonstrate how its policies “overwhelmingly favor California resident students,” among other things. For instance, it stated, California residents are admitted at higher rates than nonresidents.

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