Public Universities Enrolling More and More Out-of-State Students

As state funds for higher education decrease, prominent public universities are enrolling record numbers of out-of-state students to increase tuition revenue, reports The Washington Post.

Forty-three of the 50 schools known as "state flagships" enrolled a smaller share of freshmen from within their states in 2014 than they had ten years ago. At 10 flagships, state students filled less than half of the freshman class. 

The largest shift in the country among 100 flagships and other significant state schools was at the University of Alabama, where the share of new, in-state freshmen was 36 percent – down from 72 percent in 2004. The percentage of in-state freshmen dropped at more than 70 of those schools during that decade, the Post reported. There were 20 percent declines at UC Berkeley and UCLA, Idaho State University, and the flagships of South Carolina, Missouri, Oregon, and Arkansas. Meanwhile, there were drops of more than 15 percentage points at Michigan State, Ohio State, and the universities of Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky and Washington.

Not all flagships were part of this trend. At the University of Maryland in College Park, the percentage of in-state freshmen rose from 67 percent in 2004 to 72 percent in 2014, reported the Post. There were other single-digit increases at the universities of Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee. The University of Virginia continued to set aside about two-thirds of freshman seats for state residents.

At Texas A&M University, 95 percent of its freshman seats went to Texans in 2014, and at the University of Texas at Austin, 89 percent of freshman were in-state students. Texas has a growing population, and it guarantees admission for the best students from every public high school, the Post noted.


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