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Jun 11, 2016 09:30 AM EDT

California Looks Into Increasing Tuition Fees For Nonresident Students Following State Audit

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Legislators are proposing an increase in tuition fees for nonresident students at the University of California.

Following a controversial state audit, which revealed the extensive growth of nonresident enrollment at the University of California, lawmakers seek to improve in-state enrollment numbers, The Mercury News reported.

The Assembly proposal is set to be debated during the last few weeks of the state budget negotiations. The proposed increase would be a 10 percent cap for nonresident enrollees, along with tuition hikes that would push the current annual nonresident tuition of $37,000 to $54,000 in six years.

It is reported that the main purpose of the increase was to fund an undergraduate expansion that plans to build 30,000 new spaces for California residents by 2022.

The proposal has not escaped its fair share of doubts. University leaders and students alike fear that the proposal could cause further instability with the state budget, and deter talented nonresident students from even considering enrolling in the University of California, according to CNN.

Elaine Howle, state auditor, fears that the university's decision to increase its fees to nonresidents has made it more difficult even for California residents to gain an admission to the university. Howle argues that the decision might have caused an extensive amount to residents, as well as their families.

Nonresident undergraduates now make up more than 20 percent of the student body. The University of California defends that its practise of recruiting a significant amount of out-of-state enrollees was necessary to make up for the budget cuts that the institution was suffering, as The Sacramento Bee reported.

Meanwhile, critics have played down the recruitment of nonresident students, and argued that qualified California high schoolers are finding it hard to get an admission to the university, as of which the University of California denies.

In light of recent events, Hillary Clinton has endorsed the proposal to limit its out-of-state enrollment.

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