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Politics

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

Students walk on UC San Diego campus in this undated image.
Milan Kovacevic
Students walk on UC San Diego campus in this undated image.

The state Senate has unveiled a proposal to reduce the proportion of nonresident incoming freshmen to 10% from the current system wide average of 19%. The cuts would come over the next decade, beginning in 2022.

Gaurav Khanna is an assistant professor at UC San Diego who specializes in high-skill immigration, including international students.

State Senate Proposes Plan To Reduce Nonresidents At UC Schools
Listen to this story by Jacob Aere.

“What’s been happening is that more revenue from international students has allowed universities to expand,” Khanna said. “The revenue from one more international student can actually help fund, what we call cross-subsidize, more local students to these universities.”

Video: State Senate Proposes Nonresident Reduction At UC Schools

The increasing difficulty of accessing a UC seat at many campuses has frustrated thousands of California families after they’ve supported the university system with their taxes for years.

Esther Barcoma has been a counselor at Escondido High School for 27 years. She said the college admissions process across California universities is growing more competitive.

“I feel like they have a lot more pressure than even 15 years ago, as far as what’s expected from the college,” Barcoma said. “They’re getting in at the same rate, but not necessarily at the places they would like to get in.”

RELATED: University Of California Drops SAT Scores For Admission

The state Senate's plan would replace the lost tuition from nonresidents and cover the cost of additional California students to take their spots through state funds, beginning with $56 million next year and growing to $775 million by 2033.

While Khanna doesn't overall agree with the proposed plan, he said part of it is a good idea.

“The current plan has certain attractive features, including expanding aid to local students. The current plan also has certain unattractive features which is the part when it comes to capping international student flows,” he said.

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

The proposal comes in a record-breaking year for the UC system, with more than 200,000 applicants vying for 46,000 freshman seats.

UC officials said they share the goal of enrolling and graduating more California students and have added 19,000 more of those students since 2015, but they oppose the 10% plan.

What questions do you have about the Statewide General Election coming up on Nov. 8? Submit your questions here, and we'll try to answer them in our reporting.