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UC system to adopt enrollment cap for in-state students
UC President Janet Napolitano told an Assembly Budget hearing that the in-state student cap would be implemented if UC budget demands are not met in the 2015-16 state budget. - photo by Photo Contributed

The University of California website states, “UC undergraduates come from all over California, and they work hard to make it to college.”

A slight alteration may be in order for that quote, as California applicants will need to work even harder to make it onto any UC campus next year due to a recent decision to cap enrollment at current levels for in-state students, despite the UC system receiving a record number of applications for Fall 2015.

News of this enrollment suspension surfaced at an Assembly Budget hearing on Tuesday by UC President Janet Napolitano, who cited that the cap would be implemented if UC budget demands are not met in the 2015-16 state budget.

By capping enrollment at current levels for in-state students, seven of the nine UC undergraduate campuses will significantly increase the number of out-of-state students who pay higher tuition and ultimately provide a substantial source of funding for the UC system.

The two remaining campuses, UC Berkeley and UCLA, will implement a cap at this year’s levels for out-of-state student enrollment, where the demand is highest.

News of this enrollment cap spread like wildfire and a number of local legislatures are calling this action unacceptable, including State Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres), who said California residents should be first in line to receive an education within the UC system.

“First and foremost, the UC has a responsibility to provide a world-class, affordable education for California residents, and I have said time and again, we can’t continue to punish our students and their families because the UC cannot seem to balance its budget,” said Cannella.

“President Napolitano’s decision to deny California residents admission to the UC, and instead, admit out-of-state students for their higher tuition, sends a clear message that California residents are being placed in the backseat—while UC regents demand more money from the state,” continued Cannella.

Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto) echoed Cannella’s sentiments, urging Napolitano and the UC to “knock off the cheap negotiating tactics.”

 “This ploy to pit students against each other in order to force the State to meet the demands of the UC’s budget request is completely unacceptable,” said Olsen.  “We should not allow California’s students to be held hostage in a budget negotiation—their future is just as important to the health of our economy as it is to them and their families.”

 “Assembly Republicans and Democrats have been working together to advocate for increased investment in UC that allows our higher education system to grow, while also demanding greater efficiencies,” continued Olsen. “It is not helpful or UC to act like a stubborn bully during this process.”