The University of California admitted a record number of California residents this year, while slashing admissions to out-of-state and international would-be students in an effort to open more of the schooling system up to in-state students.
According to preliminary information released Wednesday, 85,268 California freshman students were admitted in 2022 across the university, up from 84,223 in 2021 and 79,953 the year prior. The Los Angeles Times reported this was a 1.2% increase in California freshman applicants admitted from last year.
The number of admitted out-of-state residents was 28,157 in 2021, but declined to 22,798 students in 2022 — a 19% drop. The 2022 amount, however, is still higher than 2020’s number of 20,063 students.
For international students, there was also a dip from the past year, with only 17,531 admitted in 2022, down from 19,973 in 2021 and 19,038 in 2020. From 2021 to 2022, the amount of international students admitted to the schools dropped 12.2%.
Overall admission also declined this year from 2021, with 125,597 California, out-of-state, and international students admitted this year, down from 132,353 in 2021.
All campuses, except for Merced and Riverside saw a decrease in students admitted this year from last year. The Times noted that five of the nine campuses brought in fewer California freshman applicants this year than they did last year in the initial admissions round, mostly due to fears of enrolling too many people.
The campus system has been pressured to prioritize California residents in recent years after members of the public spoke out against the increasing amount of UC nonresident students. In 2016, a state audit was conducted which reportedly discovered that the admissions policies were disadvantaging California students. The university had been trying to bring in nonresident students in order to charge more money for tuition after their funding was cut by a third during the 2008 recession.
The university system disagreed with the audit’s findings, but then state funds for higher education once again resurged, and elected officials pushed UC to bring in more in-state students.
Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Legislature gave $82.5 million this year to admit 5,632 more in-state students this year and next. The funding involves $31 million to replace almost 1,000 out-of-state students with in-state students at UCLA, UC San Diego, and UC Berkeley. That money will be renewed each year over the course of at least four additional years.
The university has shifted its admissions qualifications in recent years. As The Los Angeles Times reported in February, UC broke records for freshman fall applications this year for the second year in a row. The school system got rid of any required standardized testing for admissions last year after temporarily throwing out the SAT and ACT the year prior over alleged biased outcomes.
“UC will continue to practice test-free admissions now and into the future,” UC Provost Michael Brown said during a conversation about a potential replacement for the SAT and ACT exams.