UW taking more out-of-state students to offset budget cuts

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by MEG COYLE / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @MegCoyleKING

KING5.com

Posted on March 21, 2011 at 7:39 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 21 at 9:02 PM

SEATTLE -- Budget cuts are making it tougher for Washington students trying to get into the University of Washington.

The school admits it’s now making room for more out-of-state students who bring in more money.

“I think they should be concerned. We’re concerned,” admitted UW Admissions Director Philip Ballinger.

Severe budget cuts have forced UW to look outside the state for students.  

“We cannot literally afford to enroll as many resident students,” said Ballinger.

Why? Because out-of-state students bring in a lot more money. A Washington resident would pay about $8,700 a year in tuition and fees. But a non-resident would pay three times that, more than $25,000. Ballinger blames a $200 million dollar cut in state funding.

“So when you have that kind of cut you have to find some way of mitigating,” he said.

But that is little consolation to local high school seniors who didn’t make the cut. Megan Houston is a senior at Lake Washington High School with a 3.7 grade point average, 1600 SAT scores, and numerous extracurricular activities. She was not accepted to the University of Washington.

“The past week and a half has been, ‘Did you get into UW?’ And it’s kind of hard to say ‘No, I didn’t get in,’” she said.

Aurora Charouhas is another Lake Washington senior denied admission even though her grades and test scores were higher some of her peers who were accepted. 

“I’m a 3.69 student, 1500 SAT score, varsity captain of two sports teams, a four-year track athlete, vice president of the Environment Club, I’m taking four AP classes this year,” Charouhas said, and the list goes on.

“We’ve been turning away excellent students for years at the University of Washington,” said Ballinger.

Still, this year may be harder than ever. About 24,500 students applied to UW for the upcoming school year for 5,650 spots. That means nearly 12,000 rejection letters went out.

Ballinger says they’ve seen the number of applications nearly double in ten years. But of those, he says the number of Washington applicants has remained flat.

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