In state after state, one of the ways public colleges and universities are balancing their budgets is by aiming to admit more students from out of state (who are charged much higher tuition rates). In theory, this means more revenue for the entire university, although critics have warned about weakening the ties between public universities and their own states.
In California, where public higher education has experienced cut after cut, the choices are particularly difficult. For the spring semester of 2013, the California State University has told campus leaders they may not admit any Californian students to graduate programs. Given that tuition covers only a fraction of the costs of these students' education, the university said it couldn't afford them.
But the system said its campuses could admit out-of-state students, since they didn't cost the state money. Many campuses simply adopted the rule across their institutions, but as the Bay Area News Group first reported, Cal State's East Bay campus decided to give departments the option to admit applicants from out of state (primarily international students) while rejecting Californians seeking to enter programs in January.
In most cases where public colleges or universities are admitting more out-of-state students, they are not banning in-state applicants, just raising the bar for them to get in, or expanding class sizes to admit more from out of state. The Cal State policy affects only a minority of students (grad students), but the idea that a public university would permit graduate departments to admit only from out of state has stunned and upset some faculty members.
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