SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The percentage of non-Californians admitted to University of California campuses next fall has spiked dramatically, officials reported Tuesday, meaning more tuition for the financially troubled system but anxiety for residents who worry they are being squeezed out of the prestigious schools.
A record 80,289 students, nearly two-thirds of the 126,455 students who applied as freshmen to a UC school, were accepted at one of the public system's nine undergraduate campuses, officials said.
Of that number, 18,846 students, or more than 23 percent of the freshmen, are from out-of-state or abroad and will have to pay nearly three times more than California residents if they decide to enroll.
The figures reflect a marked increase from last year, when 18 percent of freshmen admitted were not from California. And it's almost double the percentage of foreign and out-of-state students who gained admission for fall 2009.
Every campus except Berkeley, where the number of nonresidents admitted declined from a year ago, accepted significantly more international and out-of-state students for the fall 2012 term, preliminary data show. At the same time, four campuses — Los Angeles, Irvine, Merced and Santa Barbara — admitted fewer Californians.
Gov. Jerry Brown said he was disturbed by the trend, and used it as an opportunity to promote a November ballot proposition asking voters to approve a higher sales tax and higher income taxes on those making $250,000 a year or more.
"I don't like it at all," Brown told reporters Tuesday in Sacramento after addressing a meeting of the California Medical Association. "This is ugly, and we'd better do everything we can to slow it down and even reverse it."
Even though the system has stepped up recruitment of students from outside the state, 61,443 Californians — 3.6 percent more than last year — still gained admission to a UC school, though not necessarily to one of the campuses they hoped to attend.
That increase is due to the system accepting roughly 7,900 more freshmen that it did last year.
But because the system received so many more applications across the board, the admission rate for in-state students dropped from 69.7 percent last year to 65.8 percent for this year.
Kate Jeffery, the UC system's interim director of undergraduate admissions, acknowledged that California high school students whose educations are subsidized by the state are facing stiffer completion from nonresidents "who are paying their own way, if you will." Nonresidents will pay about $36,078 in tuition in the coming academic year, compared with $13,200 for residents.
"The issue with the California resident students is a funding problem, the amount of money we get from the state to educate students," Jeffery said. "That amount has not increased."
Because not all students who are admitted end up enrolling, it is still too early to say what proportion of the freshman class will come from outside California, she said.
Last year, nonresidents accepted their admission offers at lower rates than in-state students, and ended up comprising about 12 percent of the freshmen who planned to enroll in the fall.
Jeffery sought to emphasize the benefits of building a student body that has more non-Californians. Apart from the financial contribution, out-of-state students bring geographical and cultural diversity to campuses, she said.