Thursday, September 22, 2016

UC Increases California Enrollments but Inequities Continue

UC-AFT has been on the forefront of pushing for the UC system to enroll more students from California, and recent data shows that 2016-2017 will see an increase of 8,000 students in this category.  The bad news is that the unequal funding of the campuses continues due to the distribution of non-resident students.  The following list shows the percentage of Freshmen enrollments that are non-resident students at each campus:

Berkeley   25.2% (down 3.7% from last year)

Davis         21.1% (down 4.8%)

Irvine        27.2% (down .2%)

UCLA         26.6% (down 2.7%)

Merced         .7%   (down .3%)

Riverside    3.8% (down .2%)

San Diego  28.6% (down 4.8%)

UCSB         16.1% (up 1%)

UCSC         12.7% (down 3.8%)

UC              20% (down 2.7%)

These trends highlight a partial movement in the direction requested by the legislature:  the campuses with the highest number of non-resident students have decreased their over-all percentage.  Yet, only UCSB increased its percentage of non-resident students and only by 1%.  UCOP has said that they wanted a more even distribution, but we still have three campuses with over 25% (Irvine, UCLA, Berkeley) and four campuses under 16.2% (Riverside, UCSC, UCSB, Merced).  These statistics are important because the tuition for non-resident students is $26,682 more than resident students.  So if Berkeley has 1,603 non-resident students, and Riverside has 213, Berkeley brings in $37 million more than Riverside. Since according to UCOP, the main reason for bringing in high-paying non-resident students is that they subsidize the resident students, it is still hard to see how this is working when campuses do not share extra revenue amongst themselves.  In other words, Berkeley does not transfer any of its $42 million in additional revenue from non-resident tuition to the other campuses.

It is important to stress that these statistics only look at one year of non-resident Freshmen enrollments, and if we look at all of the undergrads at a particular campus, we can multiply by four to get a rough estimate of the total inequity among campuses. So if the average student stays four years and the enrollment trends stay the same, Berkeley’s extra funding over Riverside becomes $148 million a year.

It is important to stress that the UC campuses have also increased their number of transfer students, and in this case, for Fall 2016, 15% are non-resident students (this has stayed about the same as last year).  We also see inequities generated here since only 4.8% of transfer students to Santa Cruz pay non-resident tuition, but 23.8% of the UC San Diego students pay the additional $26,682.

This year we will be working on trying to get the campuses to find a more equitable way of sharing non-resident revenue.