Originally Posted by Bostonian
Some students in some states, including California, are finding it more difficult to get into the state flagships than the Ivies.

Colleges’ Wider Search for Applicants Crowds Out Local Students
Wall Street Journal
October 8, 2014

Last spring, Nicholas Anthony graduated as co-valedictorian of Malibu High School with a résumé that included straight A’s, top marks on nine advanced placement exams, varsity quarterback and baritone horn in the wind ensemble.

But Mr. Anthony didn’t get into the top two public schools in his home state: the University of California, Berkeley or the University of California, Los Angeles. Instead, he is going to Brown University, an Ivy League school which will cost over $100,000 more during four years.

Mr. Anthony’s experience is an example of an aftershock still reverberating across higher education in the wake of the recession: Qualified residents are getting crowded out of their state universities by students paying higher tuition from out-of-state and foreign countries.

“If I had been born five years earlier, I would have gotten in,” said Mr. Anthony.


A Wall Street Journal analysis of 559 public four-year colleges and universities showed that between the fall of 2008—the last year before school budgets were affected by the recession—and the fall of 2012, 54 schools decreased enrollment of freshman in-state students by 10% or more, while increasing enrollment of nonresident freshmen by 10% or more. An additional 35 showed swings of at least 5%.

The phenomenon was most prevalent at flagship universities. Nearly 600 fewer Californians enrolled as freshmen at Berkeley last year than in 2008. At the same time, the number of out-of-state and foreign students each climbed by about 500.

Honestly, this problem is one that disproportionately impacts West Coast students. Why?

Well, think about it-- the preponderance of elite LAC's and private colleges are not on the West Coast. Scripps-Pomona-HM, Stanford, Reed, etc. are the exceptions here. So not only are out-of-state students crowding out highly qualified applicants from IN-state, they are forcing those kids to go very far from home in order to attend a more suitable institution elsewhere. Many kids from more modest means simply will not do that-- particularly first generation college students, or those who have disabilities or age (e.g. accelerated students) as a factor.

The other thing that I've mentioned before which is even MORE lucrative for West Coast institutions than out-of-STATE students? International ones. Basically, this is a huge cash cow for the entire UC system and also for the flagships in Oregon and Washington. Of course, it crowds out the in-state students, sure... but WOW, does it ever work to replace state funding which has been gutted by the respective state legislatures over the past two decades. University presidents and governing boards, when queried on this point, have largely shrugged and said "Well, what did you expect us to do? We have to make the money work somehow."

Frankly, I find this a touch disingenuous when I see new buildings sprouting like toadstools, and fundraising campaigns as often as not include the plural "BILLIONS" these days, but perhaps I'm just cynical. smirk

Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.