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The University of California Sees a Dip in Out-of-State and International Applications and Bans Fully Online Degrees

Mar 3, 2023

The University of California (UC) applications for out-of-state and international students declined this past application cycle. According to Teresa Watanabe of the Los Angeles Times, “UC drew 206,405 applications for first-year seats, a 2% decline from last year, with international students accounting for the steepest drop.”

The number of applications from California residents, on the other hand, stayed relatively the same as fall 2021. In-state applications increased at six of the campuses, and slightly decreased at UCLA, UC Davis, and UC Merced. Additionally, UC Berkeley received a record number of California applicants this cycle. According to Janet Gilmore of Berkeley News, “The campus received 72,656 freshman applications from California residents, up from 72,417 in fall 2022.”

This situation has come after California Governor Gavin Newsom made an agreement with the University of California last year to increase enrollment of California residents at the campuses. Gilmore explains that UC Berkeley accredits the increase in in-state applicants to “their enhanced outreach efforts to more California communities,” which is in accordance with the aforementioned agreement. UC application decisions will be released throughout March, and it will be interesting to see how this agreement affects those numbers.

The state plans to continue this agreement this year. According to Watanabe of the Los Angeles Times, “UCLA, UC San Diego and UC Berkeley are again planning to swap out about 900 nonresident students, giving those seats to Californians, under a deal with Newsom and legislators to make up losses in the higher tuition paid by out-of-state and international students.” Both California residents and out-of-state students should make sure to stay up-to-date with this policy as they plan to apply to the University of California in the coming years.

In other news, the University of California closed a loophole this week that allowed students to earn a fully online degree. The University of California has never officially offered a fully online degree, but according to Susan D’Agostino of Inside Higher Ed, “a loophole existed in which a student or department could have crafted—either inadvertently or intentionally—a stealth, fully online undergraduate degree through individually approved online courses.” To counter this, all UC students “must now earn a minimum of six course credits per quarter (or semester) for three quarters (or two semesters) in courses where at least half of the instruction is in person on a UC campus.” While fully remote degrees were never specifically advertised or offered by any UC campuses, this now makes the University of California’s stance on online learning and degrees clear. If a fully online degree is an important option for a student, then the University of California might not be the best fit for them.

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