UC And Cal State Crisis Prompts Students to Look Elsewhere

The University of California and the Cal State universities are in serious financial trouble. This reality is finally resonating with teenagers, which is why more of them have applied outside the state instead of assuming that their Cal State or UC admission applications will be successful.

With the UC And Cal State schools experiencing their biggest financial crisis ever, the number of California high schools seniors applying to college outside California has jumped dramatically.

This week the San Jose Mercury News compiled a short list of year-to-year increases in college applications from Californians at some out-of-state schools. Here is what they found:

  • Arizona State University   24%
  • Colgate University         15%
  • College of Wooster  62%
  • Swarthmore College      16%
  • University of Delaware  36%
  • University of Pennsylvania 22%
  • University of Virginia  24%
  • University of Washington 22%
  • Villanova University   34%

Frankly, I’ve long advocated that California students cast a wide net and look at colleges in other states.  I’d argue that California kids are hot everywhere, but on the West Coast.

My own son, who is a high school senior at High Tech High in San Diego, didn’t even apply to any UC or Cal State schools. Ben only applied to private liberal arts colleges outside of the state, but despite their high price tags he will be paying less than if he had gone to UC Berkeley, UCLA, or UCSD. All the colleges that he’s heard from have given him college scholarships and grants that will cut the price in about half. If Ben had headed to a UC school in the fall, we would have had to pay the full price.

Is this migration of smart teenagers a good thing for the state? Probably not, but I don’t see any realistic alternatives.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and she writes about college for CBSMoneyWatch. Follow her on Twitter.

Read More:

The Shrinking Odds of Geting Into UC Berkeley

Why State Flagship Universities are Rejecting More Students

Admission Jitters at Cal State University Campuses

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  1. Foreign, international, out of California state applicants look elsewhere instead of University of California Berkeley. University of California Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau ($500,000 salary) has forgotten that he is a public servant, steward of the public money, not overseer of his own fiefdom.

    Recruits (using California tax $) out of state $50,000 tuition students who
    displace qualified sons, daughters of Californians from public university
    Spends $7,000,000 + for consultants to do his & vice chancellors work
    (prominent East Coast university accomplishing same 0 cost).
    University accrues $150 million of inefficiencies over his 8 year reign.
    Pays ex Michigan governor $300,000 for lectures.
    In procuring $3,000,000 consultants failed to receive proposals from other firms.
    Latino enrollment drops while out of state jumps 2010.
    Tuition to Return on Investment drops below top10.
    NCAA places basketball program on probation: absence institutional control.

    These are not isolated examples: it’s all shameful. There is no justification for such actions by a steward of the public trust. Absolutely none.

    Birgeneau’s practices will not change. UC Board of Regents Chair Sherry Lansing must do a better job of vigorously enforcing oversight by President Yudof than has been done in the past to Chancellors who, like Birgeneau, treat the university as their fiefdom.

    Until demonstrable action is swiftly applied to chancellors by the UC Board of Regents/President Yudof, the University of California shouldn’t come to the Governor or public for support for any taxes, additional funding.

    I have 35 years’ consulting experience, have taught at UC Berkeley, where I observed the culture and the way senior management worked. No, I was not fired or downsized & have not solicited contracts from Cal.

  2. Wow, so true! My son (valedictorian, etc) is going to turn down Berkeley and UCLA for Cornell and it will cost us less! The only aid we got from the UC’s was $629. USC offerd a 1/2 tuition scholarship. Until he got accepted into Cornell, we were ready for him to go to Pepperdine (3/4 tuition scholarship, nice and small) U of Arizona (full ride, honors college) or U of Oklahoma (full ride, honors college). Eye opening experience!

  3. Hi Helen,

    I completely agree with your observation. California kids can no longer be so parochial in their college choices. There are fabulous opportunities for West Coast kids elsewhere in the country and many need to start adding non California colleges to their lists.

    I’ve run into many parents in San Diego who say their teens can look anywhere they want for colleges as long as they stay in California. That is no longer a realistic position.

    Lynn O’Shaughnessy

  4. I think that is one of the most positive things to come out of California’s budget crisis! Californians are becoming less parochial when it comes to college choices and are thereby choosing colleges that are probably better “fits”. A campus with 20,000 undergraduates is not for everybody — and it really isn’t a great deal if you have to go for an extra 5th or 6th year because you weren’t able to get the classes that you need. Congratulations to you and your son!