The University of California will no longer provide need-based financial aid for incoming out-of-state students to accommodate for the planned increase in enrollment of in-state students.
The UC Board of Regents approved the operating budget plan Thursday for the 2016-2017 academic year. According to budget, the University will increase resident enrollment by 5,000 in the 2016-2017 academic year and add another 5,000 students by the 2018-2019 academic year.
UC spokesperson Kate Moser said the Regents decided to eliminate need-based financial aid for out-of-state students to fund the expansion of enrollment for California residents. Incoming out-of-state students will not be eligible for any UC need-based financial aid, but out-of-state students who are currently receiving aid will not be affected, she added.
Moser said the UC Office of the President expects the University will save $14 million next year from cutting out-of-state financial aid to help fund the enrollment increase. UC spokesperson Dianne Klein said about 3,000 nonresident undergraduates received institutional need-based aid in the 2014-2015 academic year.
“Nonresident students will continue to be an important part of our student mix, but we’re committed to increasing access to the University for California students,” Moser said.
Jacob Jackson, a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, said he doesn’t find the policy change surprising because federal lawmakers concluded over the summer the money used to provide tuition relief to out-of-state students could be better used helping in-state students.
Currently, out-of-state students can receive need-based financial aid from the UC for the system-wide tuition that all students pay. Nonresident students, including out-of-state students and international students, are not eligible for need-based financial aid to assist with the $24,024 nonresident supplemental tuition, Moser said. With the change, out-of-state students will not be able to receive any need-based financial aid from the UC.
Jackson said he thinks the yield rate, or percent of students who enroll in a university after being offered admission, will decrease for the next academic year because students will have more incentives to attend out-of-state schools that offer financial aid.
Paul Golaszewski, a fiscal and policy analyst at the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, said he thinks federal student loans will become the main source of financial aid for new out-of-state students. He added out-of-state students can still apply for federal aid, but most federal programs like the Federal Pell Grant are only available for students from low-income families.
Jason Constantouros, a fiscal and policy analyst at the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, said he thinks eliminating need-based aid for out-of-state students might lead the UC to admit more out-of-state students from high-income families, compared to previous years.
In 2014, 3,129 of the 13,171 out-of-state students accepted to UC schools enrolled, according to data from the UCOP.
Zach Helder, external vice president of the Undergraduate Students Association Council, said he thinks UCLA would be less competitive than private institutions, like USC and Stanford, if out-of-state students cannot receive need-based financial aid.
He said he thinks cutting need-based financial aid virtually guarantees no nonresident students from low- or medium-income families will attend UC schools. He added he thinks nonresident students play an important part in adding to the diversity of the university.
“A college education is more than just about learning through classes, but also means expanding cultural and educational boundaries by learning about different worldviews,” Helder said.
Several out-of-state students said they think cutting out-of-state students’ need-based financial aid is unfair because out-of-state students already pay more in tuition than in-state students.
Olivia Parker, a first-year undeclared humanities student, said she thinks the change will hurt out-of-state students because it takes away the opportunity for many students to attend schools in the UC system.
Destiny Brown, an out-of-state first-year biology student, said she thinks many out-of-state students need financial aid to be able to attend schools in the UC system.
“As out-of-state students, we pay a lot more than in-state students do (already),” Brown said. “There is no way an average student can afford college on their own.”
Other students have said they oppose cutting financial aid for out-of-state students, but support enrolling additional California residents.
“UCLA is a world school, but its primary responsibility is to the state of California,” said Kevin Mark, a fourth-year aerospace engineering student.
Contributing reports by April Hoang and Laurel Scott, Bruin contributors, and Shreya Maskara, Bruin senior staff.