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UC admission offers up again for nonresidents

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The number of non-Californians offered admission to University of California campuses for the coming fall has climbed for the third time in three years, officials reported Thursday, making it more difficult for state residents to be assured a slot at one of the schools.

A record 82,850 students were accepted as freshmen to one of the public system's nine undergraduate campuses, or 59 percent of the 139,915 students who applied, university officials reported. By comparison, the system had a 68 percent acceptance rate for Fall 2011, and the new numbers are a sign of how much more competitive getting into a UC school has become.

Of the ones who got lucky in the admissions lottery this year, 22,761 — 27.4 percent of the accepted freshmen — are from out-of-state or abroad. In the previous two years, the percentage of admitted students who were not from California was 18 percent.

Even though the system has stepped up recruitment of students from outside the state, 60,089 Californians — 1,354 fewer than last year — still gained admission to a UC school, though not necessarily to one of the campuses they hoped to attend.

The reason more foreign and out-of-state students got in is economics, university officials said. Nonresidents pay nearly three times more in tuition, $36,078, than the $13,200 California residents pay.

"The slight decline in the number and proportion of admitted students who are Californians reflects the fallout from years of severe budget cuts to UC, which has enrolled thousands of California students for whom it received no state funding," officials said.

Although every campus except Irvine was harder to get into, Berkeley, Davis, Merced and Santa Cruz were the only ones where the number and percentage of Californians accepted declined from last year. Some campuses, such as San Diego and Irvine, significantly increased their admission offers across the board, awarding space both to more residents and non-residents.

Because not all students who are admitted end up enrolling, it is still too early to say what proportion of the freshman class will come from outside California, officials said.

"Applicants from outside California traditionally decline UC admission offers at a higher rate than do Californians. It is expected that, systemwide, fewer than 10 percent of enrolled UC undergraduates in 2013 will be out-of-state and international students," system officials said.

The fewer California residents accepted compared to last year impacted the system's long-standing goal of improving the racial and ethnic diversity of its campuses. Of the 60,089 Californian's offered admission, 2,518 are African-American, 202 fewer than last year, while 16,613 — 162 fewer than last year — are Hispanic.