Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

KPBS Midday Edition

UC San Diego Forced To Cut Out-Of-State Admissions

Students and faculty walk on a pathway at the UC San Diego campus, Sept. 28, 2020.
Jacob Aere
Students and faculty walk on a pathway at the UC San Diego campus, Sept. 28, 2020.
A trio of UC schools, including UCSD, have to cut their out-of-state admissions by roughly 4% to make room for California applicants over the next five years.

With the passing of the state budget on June 28, UC San Diego, UCLA and UC Berkeley are going to have to cut back on out-of-state student admissions.

RELATED: State Senate Proposes Plan To Reduce Nonresidents, Increase Californians At UC Schools

The change was made in an effort to get more Californians into UC schools.

UC San Diego Forced To Cut Out-Of-State Admissions
Listen to this story by Jacob Aere.

Jordan Kremer recently graduated from La Costa Canyon High School and applied to multiple universities.

She was accepted at a few UC campuses, but one of her friends couldn't get into a single UC school.

“One of my friends got rejected or waitlisted to every single UC that they applied to, which was really surprising. Even UCI, or some of the lower ranked ones,” Kremer said.

RELATED: Top Officials At Most UC Schools Call For Tuition Increase

The move to increase the ratio of California students at the three UC campuses will cost taxpayers.


The state will pay $184 million to cover the higher tuition that would have come from out-of-state students.

Gaurav Khanna is an assistant professor of economics at UC San Diego. He said that he opposes the new UC admissions order.

“More revenue from out-of-state students actually helps keep tuition levels low for in-state students. And so you get more in-state students actually coming to those universities,” Khanna said.

Khanna said there is a financial risk to capping out of state admissions.

“When there is another recession or there are hard times, they can't suddenly say ‘okay we will make up this revenue shortfall by bringing in more students from abroad,'" he said.

RELATED: University Of California Drops SAT Scores For Admission

At UCSD, international enrollment hit a record of nearly 8,500 in 2020 — or 21% of the student body.

It’s the highest figure in the UC system.

Even with the high international student numbers, Khanna said that the UC schools have space to grow for in-state and out-of-state students alike.

“These classroom sizes are not fixed, so it's not that one more student means one less chance for my child,” Khanna said.

The new state budget also proposed to expand undergraduate enrollment in the UC system. That would add roughly 6,200 students in the 2022-23 school year across all UC campuses.

That state budget said all of those students must be California residents.

Video: UC San Diego Forced To Cut Out-Of-State Admissions