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For The First Time In Its History, The University Of California Proposes Cap On Nonresident Students

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Photo credit: Associated Press

Janet Napolitano, president of the University of California, speaks at Carbon Neutrality Initiative at the University of California, San Diego, Oct. 27, 2017.

The University of California’s move comes in response to criticism that California high-school graduates are often locked out of enrollment.

The University of California on Monday proposed an enrollment cap on out-of-state students, saying they should only comprise 20 percent of undergraduate enrollment.

The increasing number of out-of-state students in the UC system has put the university in the crosshairs of many critics. The number of those students has quadrupled since 2007. Critics see those nonresident students as taking opportunities away from California's high school graduates.

RELATED: UC Boosts In-State Enrollment By 15% Following Critical Audit

University president Janet Napolitano has responded by proposing the 20 percent nonresident enrollment cap. Out-of-state students currently make up 16.5 percent of undergraduate enrollment.

The 20 percent limit would be system-wide. UC San Diego, where 23 percent of undergraduate students are from out-of-state, would not have to scale that down.

The increase in the numbers of out-of-state students corresponded with declining state support of the University of California, starting with the great recession. The university responded to that by increasing admission of nonresident students, who pay $27,000 more per year in tuition and fees than in-state students.

Not everyone objects to out-of-state students. In fact, they say that additional funding has allowed UC to increase its number of native California students to the highest level in history.

A spokesman for the university says the proposed enrollment cap is being done, in part, to ensure UC will receive an addition $18.5 million in state funding. The University of California Regents will take up the enrollment cap proposal at its upcoming March meeting.

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