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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Catch a wave: The great California exodus

    New California schools’ acceptance rates are causing the UA to see an increase in the number of out-of-state students, along with their out-of-state tuition dollars.

    The University of California system has released reports that determine that many of their campuses are increasing their rejection numbers this year in comparison to past years. This is not coincidence, but rather a high influx of new applicants, current over enrollment by 11,000 students in the system, and statewide budget cuts similar to Arizona, said Ricardo Vazquez a UC spokesman.

    “”There was an increase in applicants and it was an extremely competitive year, because of the budget we’re facing, and we’re overenrolled by 11,000 students. So they curtailed freshman enrollment by about 2,300 students,”” said Vazquez. “”The campuses increased the enrollment targets from community colleges and transfers by 500. On several campuses, they gave fewer acceptances than previous years. In other words, no increases of student demand on campuses and no increase in funding.””

    The rising UC rejection rate means a higher number of students from California. California has been the number one state, contributing students to the UA since 2000, according to the UA Office of Institutional Research and Planning Support.

    Last year California sent 3,960 students to the UA. The state with the next highest contribution of out of state students was Illinois with 717.

    All students who are academically qualified for the UC’s will be offered admission to at least one campus – it just may not be the campus they prefer, said Susan Wilbur, the UC system’s director of undergraduate admissions.

    As a Pacific 10 Conference school with similar weather and attitudes as California, the UA is a much sought-after university for Californians who may not have been accepted into their dream UC, said UA students from California.

    “”I didn’t get into any of the UC’s, but I had been accepted by the UA and a few other schools,”” said Chris Alicante, a pre-physiology sophomore and California resident. “”I chose Arizona, because it’s far enough away from my family, but still So-Cal weather.””

    After rejection from the dream UC campus, Arizona offers a fresh, new atmosphere that many California students seek, said Christopher Baum, a pre-business sophomore and California resident.

    “”I didn’t get into UC-Davis, and if it wasn’t UC-Davis, then I wanted to get out of the state of California and experience something different,”” Baum said.

    Also, many UA students from California chose the UA because they consider it to be an established university with a reputable history. Wilbur said that the approximately 10,000 students who had been rejected from all the other UC campuses would receive an offer of admission from the two newest campuses in the UC system, Riverside and Merced.

    “”Of course I got into Riverside and Merced, but why would I want to go there?”” said Aidan McWhinney, a pre-education sophomore. “”I didn’t even know those were cities in California until a UC popped up there. No thank you; I’d rather go to a school people have actually heard of.””

    “”They’re a joke. They don’t go along with any of the other UC’s. Some of the other UC’s are some of the hardest to get into,”” Baum said. “”It’s almost like a slap across the face. These other UC schools are like impersonators. I know people who would rather go to a community college for two years than Riverside or Merced.””

    Arizona has followed a similar rising enrollment trend as the UC system, with several notable exceptions, according to the Office of Institutional Research and Planning.

    Between 1993 and 1996, Arizona had a distinct rise in new freshman admitted and retained, the same time period that the UC’s had a drop. Also, in 2004 through 2006, the UC’s had a noticeable drop in freshman enrollment, while Arizona’s significantly increased.

    In those years where the number increased for Arizona and decreased for the UC’s, the number of freshman students from California swelled.

    From 2004 to today, the number of students from California has increased from 2,958 to 3,960.

    “”I feel that UA should raise their requirements for enrollment and make the UA a tougher school to get into,”” said Ben Lord, a pre-business sophomore. “”If they do decide to accept more out-of-state people, tuition should be lowered to make up for the large class sizes.””

    California students, as well as the other out-of-state students, pay than $15,000 more per year to attend the UA, and that money is used in part to help the more disadvantaged students, especially from Arizona, attend the UA. Those students will have less financial aid if others from out of state stop coming, said Paul Kohn, UA dean of admissions.

    “”Out-of-state students (are) a great thing for the university, for the students, for the health of the university and the economy of the state of Arizona,”” Kohn added.

    Despite causing a wave of new students from the West coast, the influx of California students has had no effect or correlation with the admittance of in-state students, according to the Office of Admissions.

    “”I have no preference where the students come from,”” Kohn said. “”I don’t have a bias in favor of California, but I do want more good students to come here from all over the world.””

    Arizona residents attending the UA should look forward to out of state students because of their added tuition money, said Kelsey Palmer, civil engineer sophomore.

    “”With the new dorms that the campus is putting in, we’ll be able to take more students than before as well. And hopefully with all the out-of-state tuition, we can rehire professors and bring back some of the classes that we lost during budget cuts,”” Palmer said.

    “”That way we’ll have enough teachers, classes and places to stay in order to keep AZ kids as well as out of state,”” she said. “”More money equals more options and opportunity.””

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