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.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

If I was going to send my kid to an out of state school it would be a better school than Cal Poly. The only way to get out of state school kids here is to offer them free rides or get rich kids who can’t get in anywhere else due to poor grades.

Poly’s a business like any other. Why give some poor food server Ca. kid a spot in class when you can get a rich Chinese kid who’ll pay more.? The dream of easy money and prestige for life by buying degrees from these leeches is over anyway. Schools know it and spend too much energy convincing people otherwise. Learning to provide the basics on the cheap is what’s in our future if you want security, not continuing to split hairs technologically. Quit worrying about degrees, save yer money and put your brat out on the street, quit enriching the Profs & Admins and maybe improve the gene pool by weeding out the nerds and weaklings that put us in this jam today. Who needs colleges anyway? They’ve gone the way of needless shopping malls that refuse to die when they’ve already been replaced by the internet. A sharp kid who honed his life skills surviving without help will always out perform a college drone at the end of the day. Wanna know why we have a culture destroying illegal immigration problem? Too many college drones who don’t do labor.

I like what Racket says, if I did lousy on the SATs and had a B- gpa, could my rich parents offer to pay the out-of-state tuition rate and I’d still get into Cal Poly?

Sheeesh, come on guys, this is a state college. It’s supposed to give priority to Californians, that’s why they raised the out-of-state tuition so high, to discourage others from attending OUR school and leave the state colleges open to the state’s residents.

Now Cal Poly is gaming the system to recruit out-of-state students in order to get more money?

What’s funniest is that students only pay out-of-state tuition costs for something like 6 months (maybe 3 quarters) and then they’ve established residency and the tuition goes back to normal.

So we Californians are being dissed for a short term monetary gain that just gets tossed into the state treasury and disappears down a $25 billion black hole. Lovely.

Paperboys…I think that if someone did lousy on the SAT’s and had a B – GPA, then their rich parents need to send him/her to a private school that will take their money. That said, out of state tuition should be paid for all four years (or whoever many years it takes someone to graduate). Otherwise, they should establish residency (I believe it takes one year), and then apply. My two cents.

Cal Poly has long lost its way. It is a California State University and its primary mission should be to educate California students, not out of state or foriegn students. If the Cal Poly budget has become too bloated they need to cut the expenses while educating the maximum number of California Students as possible. In recent years, with visions of becoming the west coast MIT, Cal Poly is more concerned with educating the best students they can recruit from all the U.S. and other countries, rather than educated the best California students. I don’t know how, but we Californians need to get Cal Poly’s “head” straghtened out and get its primary responsibility back to educating Californians.

After all, our tax dollars fund Cal Poly.

Recent similar story in the “Oregonian”, with complaints from ‘locals’ about the Californian’s taking up space at Oregon colleges.

It took me a long time to admit, but Cal Poly and all the institutes are just a business, worried primarily about the dollars coming in. There are many many great educators and faculty at this College and others, but unfortunately not enough of them are in a position of power. Bow to the almighty dollar. And oh yea, lets focus on the high paying customers! They’re the ‘good’ accounts.

The CSU system was established so that state taxpayers could subsidize California students for the betterment of the state. And Jones could never convince me that some of those seats wouldn’t have gone to CA students, especially during an enrollment decline b/c of budget cuts. Yet again, shame on Cal Poly.

I wonder if a marginal CA student, one on the brink of not being accepted to Poly, could pay out-of-state tuition and increase his acceptability…

Meanwhile, out of country students get in state tuition.

We expected them to admit to it? It is what it is…wrong.