UC schools to cap nonresident student enrollement in 2018

Nonresident undergraduate student enrollment at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of California at Santa Cruz will be capped starting in the fall of 2018, according to a policy approved Thursday by the university's board of regents.

At UC Berkeley, nonresident undergraduate student enrollment will be capped at the percentage of nonresident undergraduates who enroll this coming academic year.

At UC Santa Cruz, nonresident undergraduate student enrollment will be capped at 18 percent of all undergraduates.

The policy will be reviewed by the UC Board of Regents in four years or sooner, university officials said.

The policy aims to strike the right balance between putting California residents first and the benefits that nonresident students bring to the university, UC President Janet Napolitano said in a statement.

College-bound Californians have been upset because they have had such a difficult time in getting into the UC campus of their choice and that many seats are going to out-of-state or international students.

Last academic year, 24.4 percent of undergraduates at UC Berkeley were nonresidents.

At UC Santa Cruz, that number was 7.6 percent. Napolitano said the approved policy represents a consensus reached among the regents, legislators and others.

The policy was born out of California's Budget Act of 2016, which required the regents to cap the number of undergraduate nonresidents as a condition of receiving $18.5 million to support 2,500 more resident undergraduates this coming academic year.

University officials claim that the UC's focus on resident undergraduates is unique among many top-ranked public universities.

Only an average of 16.5 percent of undergraduates in the UC system are nonresidents, which is lower than the average among the 60 American universities in the Association of American Universities.

The AAU represents 60 leading research universities in the U.S. and two in Canada.

The statement by Napolitano said the university is committed to offering a place to every California applicant who meets the university's admission requirements.

Napolitano said the new policy "reaffirms our pledge that nonresident students will be enrolled only in addition to, and never in place of, Californians."