Illustration by Leo Gordon
Living in our boastful state of California, we are blessed to have access to some of the top public universities in the world. Of the University of California’s (UC) ten campuses, five are ranked in the top ten public universities in the world. It seems that us students should feel lucky to be residents of a state that has such quality education for its students, but the battle between in and out of state students for admission has gone beyond the students.
Attending state school is significantly cheaper for residents of that state (as it should be, since our parents pay the taxes that partly fund them). In California, out of state students must pay a tuition $28,000 larger than the average $12,000 paid by a California resident. This is one reason that our state schools are so attractive to California students, aside from the caliber of education that the UCs provide.
In recent years, the competition for admittance to UC Berkeley, UC Los Angeles (UCLA), UC San Diego (UCSD), and UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) has increased for all applicants. Out of the admitted UCLA students last year, 43 percent were out of state or international students. While this doesn’t seem like a drastic statistic, when you have thousands of in-state applicants with very similar GPAs, test scores, and extracurriculars applying to the same school, it seems like an arbitrary selection process I determining who is admitted.
The UCs admissions offices have been denounced for the amount of out of state students admitted. Think about this: you have two, nearly identical applicants, with the only exception being that one resides in California and the other doesn’t. How are you supposed to choose one over the other as an admissions officer? Critics claim that the deciding factor should obviously be the amount of revenue the school will bring in from each student.
The out of state student is admitted, and the California student’s opportunity has disappeared. Does this make sense economically? Absolutely. Funding for education in the state of California has been decreasing and the UCs must draw revenue from another source if they are to continue to maintain their caliber.
But what happens to high school students inside of California when the public school system built for them and funded by their parents won’t accept them, especially when acceptance between identical students is based solely off of the amount of revenue they bring in for the school? A proposed solution has been having a cap on the amount of out of state students admitted to UCs in exchange for more state funding.
Given that our parents already fund the schools, and that the UCs are intended for students of California, this seems like a solution that will alleviate some of the pressure of applying to the UC schools.