International students entering UC Santa Cruz tour Science Hill as part of an intensive 10-day orientation on cultural norms, English language and navigating the campus. vigating the campus.
SANTA CRUZ – UC Santa Cruz dipped its admission of California high schoolers for the upcoming school year while upping its admission of international students more than any other school in the system, preliminary data released by the UC shows. The 14 percent drop in UC Santa Cruz’s admission of students from within the state is the largest in a UC system where in-state admissions are down about 2 percent overall, after a strong swell in 2016.
Applications to the campus from California students, meanwhile, were up more than 6 percent ahead of last year.
The school’s admission of foreign applicants surged by more than third over the prior year, with 74 percent of international applicants earning admittance – double the average rate of the eight other campuses. Admission of students from out-of-state also rose by 12 percent from the prior year. More international and out-of-state students means more money for a UC system that continues to face rising costs and spiralling debt.
Where undergraduate enrollees from within California can expect to pay $14,025 in tuition and fees for the coming year, out-of-state and international students pay $42,039, according to data released by the UC Santa Cruz financial aid office.
Admissions numbers are based on enrollment targets the school sets for in-state, out-of-state and international students. International students are also ineligible for federal and state financial aid.
“I’m not going to lie, part of it is that those students when they’re paying out of state tuition are going to be an additional revenue source,” said Michael McCawley, UC Santa Cruz’s director of admissions. “That’s something that is factored in.”
But McCawley emphasized that the school’s allotment for students from within California starts at the state level.
“How much is the state funding us for our California students? That’s what determines our California targets,” McCawley said. Rather than leading a new trend, McCawley said, the drastic increase of acceptance of international students is “a little playing catchup.” “We probably came to that a little later than many of our sister campuses,” McCawley said. “They were already doing this for years.”
Even after the big bump, UC Santa Cruz admitted proportionately fewer international students than UC Davis, UC Irvine and UC San Diego, the preliminary data shows. The decline in admissions for California students comes on the heels of last year’s record admission numbers for students from within the state, spurred a push by the UC system to enroll 10,000 more California students by the 2018-19 school year. Despite this year’s drop, the UC said early in July it’s still on pace to meet that goal.
In May, UC regents approved the first-ever cap on out-of-state and international enrollment, setting a ceiling of 18 percent at UC Santa Cruz, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara. UC Berkeley, UC Los Angeles, UC San Diego and UC Riverside, which exceed the ceiling, are allowed to keep but not increase their higher level under the new policy.
That decision followed a state auditor report released in 2016 that found the UCs lowered admissions standards for out-of-state students, turning away thousands of more qualified California high school seniors. With a larger than ever applicant pool, UC Santa Cruz also increased its admission selectivity. The campus offered admission to 5 percent fewer freshman than the year before, which it attributed to a particularly large class in 2016 and reduced enrollment targets for the coming year.
The applicant pool for the coming year, both for UC Santa Cruz and the system as a whole, continued to rise.
More than 171,000 students applied to one or more of the UC’s nine campuses, setting a new record.
A majority of the 52,507 students who applied to UC Santa Cruz’s upcoming freshman class – some 75 percent – as well as a majority who were accepted, about 70 percent, reside within California, the data shows.
UC Santa Cruz Chancellor George Blumenthal was unavailable for comment.
2016 2017 Change
CA admissions: 22,316 19,258 -13.7%
Out-of-state admits: 2,732 3082 12.8%
International admits: 3,657 4,876 33.3%
CA applicants: 40,133 42,692 6.4%
Out-of-state applicants: 3,380 3,470 2.7%
International applicants: 5,620 6,345 12.9%
Source: University of California