Cal Poly courting out of state students
November 16, 2010
In an attempt to bolster its budget, California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo has taken the controversial step of increasing recruitment efforts for more out-of-state students while enrolling fewer in-state applicants.
By doing so, Cal Poly is chasing the extra dollars that out-of-state students pay to come to college in San Luis Obispo.
In-state students pay about $6,000 per year with the state covering the remaining $6,000 in cost per student. But out-of-state students pay approximately $16,000 per year to attend Cal Poly.
Two out-of-state students can cover the cost of one California resident’s state reimbursement for attending Cal Poly.
“We are doing more recruiting of out-of-state students so we can make up our budget needs,” said Cal Poly spokesperson Stacia Momburg who pointed out that in 2009 the university had a 7.4 percent out-of-state student population. The 2010 university wide numbers are not available.
After a year of heavy recruiting, the department of Architectural Engineering has a 2010 enrollment of 39 percent out-of-state students with the entire College of Architecture and Environmental Design, of which the department of Architectural Engineering it part of, having a 22 to 23 percent out-of-state student population, said Tom Jones, the dean of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design. More than 1,900 students attend College of Architecture and Environmental Design and 300 of those are in the Architectural Engineering department.
“We are not giving out-of-state students seats from state students,” Jones said. “To make sure that there was no public outcry, for the first time in our history we have a two-tiered system (one for in-state and one for out-of-state students). In the past, we blended them together”
Jones said that out-of-state students are not given lower requirements than their in-state counterparts.
In response to limitations on the number of student the CSU system would support, Cal Poly administrators increased recruiting efforts to use the increased tuition for out-of-state students to subsidize losses in state revenue.
There has been no directive through the California State University system to increase out-of-state recruitment and state wide the 23 campuses have a 3 percent out-of-state student population, said California State University spokesperson Mike Uhlamkamp. In contrast, the University of California System does have a directive to increase the number of out-of-state students.
Recruiting out-of-state students is part of a larger plan to meet budget deficits that were created at the state level,” Momburg added. “The larger plan includes graduating students on time and providing more sections for general requirement courses.”
Nevertheless, while the number of out-of-state students has increased the total number of students has declined over the past year. The exact numbers are not yet available for 2010.
Critics contend that college administrators are enrolling out-of-state students in favor of their lower paying in-state counterparts even though the mission of the university is to educate the citizens of California.
School officials, including Jones and Momburg, say that isn’t so.