Lure of Chinese Tuition Squeezes Out Asian-American Students

Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports that admittance of international students, many from China, has been increasing dramatically in recent years at the University of California. Among those in competition with international students are Asian-American students whose enrollments have been dropping.

In 2009, University of California administrators told the San Diego campus to reduce its number of in-state freshmen by 500 to about 3,400 and fill the spots with out-of-state and international students, said Mae Brown, the school’s admissions director. California residents pay $13,234 in annual tuition while nonresidents pay $22,878.

As a result, almost 200 freshmen from China enrolled in 2011, up from 16 in 2009, a 12-fold increase. At the same time, the number of Asian-American Californians enrolled fell 29 percent to 1,230, from 1,723 in 2009. The 2009 figure is from the UC system’s office because San Diego didn’t have it available.

While the San Diego campus is accepting more Chinese students, the decline in Asian-American enrollment may be a result of the total drop in California resident admissions, and two years’ data doesn’t reflect a trend, said Christine Clark, a university spokeswoman.

“UC San Diego is committed to admitting and enrolling talented students from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds,” Clark said in an e-mailed statement.