UC commits to increase in-state student enrollment, tuition freeze through 2016-17

November 19, 2015

Few students will be on UC Berkeley's campus when instruction begins at the university later this month. On Friday, the state released new guidance for Berkeley and other colleges as they plan for the fall.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the tuition nonresident students pay.

Two University of California committees approved a plan Thursday to enroll 10,000 more in-state freshman and transfer students in the next three years, a 12 percent increase.

In addition, UC tuition will remain frozen through the 2016-17 school year and will likely increase in following years at the rate of inflation, or by about 3 percent annually, according to the proposal that won unanimous support from the committees of Long Range Planning and Finance during the UC Board of Regents meeting in San Francisco. The full Board of Regents is expected to ratify the plan Friday.

This fall, UC admitted 61,824 freshman students from California and 20,921 transfer students from state community colleges.

“We at UC want to expand the number of Californians who attend our universities and we want to sustain that access,” said UC President Janet Napolitano, who put forth the proposal earlier this month.

The tuition freeze means there will be six years – dating back to 2011-12 – without an increase. “After that, tuition will be modest, predictable and tied to inflation,” Napolitano said.

“What we did today is expand the dream of going to college,” said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

Napolitano said the move to increase in-state enrollment will help begin reversing several years of enrollment cuts and freezes for California students as the system added a higher number of out-of-state and international students, who paid more in tuition to help offset state budget cuts. In-state undergraduate students currently pay a base tuition of $12,240 annually, while nonresident students pay $37,456.

“What we did today is expand the dream of going to college,” said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, an ex officio UC regent. “For many students, that dream includes going to the University of California.”

Under the plan, the number of undergraduate California students will increase by 5,000 for the 2016-17 school year, and by 2,500 students in each of the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years. The number of additional students admitted by each campus will be determined by the number of applications schools receive, their overall capacity and other factors, officials said.

The plan will be funded primarily through $25 million that was allocated to boost enrollment under last year’s state budget agreement, and by phasing out financial aid that the system provides for low-income students from outside California, which will save the system at least $14 million annually beginning in 2016-17. The number of nonresident students also will steadily decline each year, beginning next fall.

The university system will request an additional $6 million in state funding to enroll 600 more graduate students in 2016-17, officials said.

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