By John Olivares
The University of California plans to increase enrollment by 10,000 native undergraduates over the next three years.
Under the plan approved by the UC Board of Regents, all nine campuses with undergraduate programs must enroll 5,000 freshman and transfer students in 2016-17 with an additional 2,500 students in each of the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years.
“The increase in enrollment has really made it that much more hopeful that I will attend UC Berkeley this fall, which is my dream school,” said Jennifer Mendoza, Santa Ana College student.
Each campus will determine how many additional students it can accommodate, based on the number of applications received.
Tuition will remain the same for this coming year, but, starting in 2017-18, it will raise to account for inflation.
“We strongly believe in sustaining increased access for all Californians to our campuses and the world-class education they offer,” said UC Spokesperson Kate Moser.
The UC system plans to match a $25 million allocation with help from the state to cover costs related to the enrollment, according to the Budget Act of 2015.
The funding will provide campuses the opportunity to hire faculty members, expand academic support services and provide other critical services, according to the funding proposal.
A 10,000 student increase would be a boost of about 20 percent over the 50,000 new in-state freshmen and transfer students who enrolled Fall 2015.
UC President Janet Napolitano urged community college students to begin thinking about enrolling at a UC, in an email sent to 350,000 freshmen transfer hopefuls.
Students transferring from community colleges around the state will be an important part of the growth, Moser added. “UC enrolls more community college students than any university of its caliber in the nation.”
Out-of-state students pay tuition of about $36k, o triple the average fees Californians pay. Tuition for out-of-state students will be raised each year, while in-state tuition will remain frozen.
Along with the elimination of financial aid for incoming out-of-state students, nonresident tuition will be raised by eight percent in the next year, according to the “Three Year Financial Sustainability Plan.”
Increasing in-state enrollment will start to reverse enrollment freezes placed on the UC System as a higher number of international and out-of-state students were granted enrollment to compensate for budget cuts.
The university system will request an additional $6 million in state funding to enroll 600 more graduate students in Fall 2016.
“This will give more students that come from a minority group or a low income family like myself the opportunity to attend a great school,” Mendoza added.