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"Audit Blast Penn State on Out of State Students"

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Replies to: "Audit Blast Penn State on Out of State Students"

  • barronsbarrons Registered User Posts: 24,526 Senior Member
    You want to call the tune--pay the fiddler. PSU's state funding has been essentially flat since 1990. Up and then way down. No U can just absorb such a funding situation.
  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 10,832 Senior Member
    @PurpleTitan
    These divisions are private and receive no state funding. Cornell is not under any obligation to admit NYS students nor charge them lower tuition. No more than Yale has an obligation to admit and fund CT residents.
    Architecture, Art and Planning
    Arts and Sciences
    Hotel Administration
    Graduate Business
    Engineering
    Computing and information Science
    Law
    Medicine
  • CorbettCorbett Registered User Posts: 2,497 Senior Member
    in 11 of the last 16 years, including the most recent seven, the [Penn State] admit rate was higher for out-of-state students than in-state students.
    That is not, by itself, grounds for in-state residents to be concerned, for a couple of reasons. First, it is quite possible that OOS applicants have (on average) higher test scores and GPAs than in-state applicants. In general, you should expect applicants with stronger qualifications to be accepted at higher rates. Second, it is likely that Penn State has a lower yield for OOS applicants than for in-state applicants. If so, then they can accept OOS applicants at a higher rate, because the OOS applicants are less likely to enroll.
    Data released in the audit showed that Pennsylvania resident enrollment at the flagship campus dropped from 76.5 percent in 1990 to 56.2 percent in 2015.
    OK, now the in-state residents have grounds for concern.

    The same issue has been affecting the UC system in California (except that the concern arose when OOS enrollment hit only the 20% level). So the state cut a deal with the UC system: more state funding in return for a cap on OOS students. Something similar may be necessary in PA.
  • bclintonkbclintonk Registered User Posts: 7,278 Senior Member
    Many public universities have moved to increase OOS and international student enrollment to boost revenue in response to state budget cuts. Nothing new there. What I find somewhat troubling, however, is that Penn State has a higher admit rate for OOS than for in-state students. This is unusual. For example at Michigan, which now has over 40% OOS students, the admit rate for OOS applicants is less than half that for in-state applicants. As a result, Michigan's OOS students not only boost the university's revenue, but they also strengthen the academic credentials of the incoming class. This not only aids the university's reputational standing, but it also makes for a stronger learning environment for in-state students.

    It could be that Penn State's OOS applicants just have stronger credentials than its in-state applicants. But I don't see much evidence of that. PSU's entering class stats (middle 50% 1090-1300 SAT CR+M; 25-29 ACT Composite) severely lag those at other major flagships that have gone the route of boosting OOS enrollment, e.g., Michigan (1310-1500 SAT CR+M; 29-33 ACT Composite) and UVA (1240-1460 SAT CR+M; 29-33 ACT Composite). And at 56.4%, PSU's overall admit rate remains much higher than schools like Michigan (28.6%) and Virginia (29.9%). If the OOS admit rate is even higher than the in-state rate, it must mean the OOS admit rate is pushing 60%, and they don't seem to be getting a stronger student body for it. Perhaps this is a slightly unfair comparison. Michigan and Virginia are among the very strongest public flagships. Penn State, while it has some notable academic strengths, has never been quite at that level. But the point is, if you're going to dramatically increase OOS enrollment, at least do it in a way that strengthens your institution academically. I see no evidence of Penn State doing that.
  • CorbettCorbett Registered User Posts: 2,497 Senior Member
    edited June 23
    Yet oddly, people on CC focus on schools like PSU and UIUC while giving Cornell a free pass.
    Can someone explain why that is to me?
    My guess would be that schools like PSU and UIUC get more scrutiny because they are the dominant players, in terms of public higher education, in their respective states. In New York, on the other hand, Cornell only plays a niche role in terms of public higher ed. It's true that some of the colleges at Cornell are publicly supported, but they represent only a minority of Cornell's total enrollment, and an even smaller minority of the whole New York public education sector, which is dominated by SUNYs.

    My understanding is that the contract colleges at Cornell do account for a disproportionate share of the state higher ed budget. So maybe there could a case for redirecting more state support away from Cornell and towards the SUNYs instead. But I'm not a NY state resident or taxpayer, and have no position either way.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    edited June 23
    @TomSrOfBoston: Yet what I stay still stands:



    The few schools of Cornell that are _not_ completely private receive almost exactly as much state funding from NYS as all of UVa received from VA. Yet, despite that, the number of NYS residents who get an in-state discount from Cornell is a small fraction of the number of VA residents who get an in-state discount from UVa. And the Cornell in-state tuition is several times the UVa in-state tuition.





    In fact, the people of NYS have even more reason to be upset given what you said as, despite giving Cornell as much money as VA gives UVa, not only do a much smaller number of NYS residents benefit from in-state tuition and not only is that in-state tuition much higher than in-state tuition to other state flagships/land-grant, but they are restricted to a small number of majors as well that get that in-state discount and they don't include the majors in engineering or arts&sciences.



    I wonder if the people of PA would be happier if PSU privatized Engineering and their Arts&Sciences school to be more like Cornell. Then they would not be under the expectation that PSU should do any favors for them.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    edited June 23
    @Corbett: "In New York, on the other hand, Cornell only plays a niche role in terms of public higher ed. It's true that some of the colleges at Cornell are publicly supported, but they represent only a minority of Cornell's total enrollment, and an even smaller minority of the whole New York public education sector, which is dominated by SUNYs.



    My understanding is that the contract colleges at Cornell do account for a disproportionate share of the state higher ed budget."



    Indeed. So given that, if UIUC and PSU dramatically shrink the size of the student body that is in their public part so that they are as big as Cornell's public population while still taking the same amount of state funding (or at least as much state funding as Cornell does) and privatizing the rest, would people be happier?
  • CorbettCorbett Registered User Posts: 2,497 Senior Member
    edited June 23
    So given that, if UIUC and PSU dramatically shrink the size of the student body that is in their public part so that they are as big as Cornell's public population while still taking the same amount of state funding (or at least as much state funding as Cornell does) and privatizing the rest, would people be happier?
    If a school like UIUC or PSU or UCLA reduces the number of discounted-tuition slots available to in-state residents, then in-staters are going to be unhappy. Cornell's funding doesn't really have anything to do with it.

    If PSU is giving more slots to OOS students in order to gain more tuition revenue, well, that's a viable funding strategy. The University of Vermont, for example, is a state-supported land-grant institution, but they've been bankrolled by high OOS tuition for decades. UVM has 76% OOS enrollment, so the in-staters are outnumbered by a whopping 3-to-1 margin.

    Of course, Vermont is a small state with a low growth rate. So UVM still has enough in-state slots to keep up with the demand, and the in-state residents are OK with it. And those conditions may not apply at PSU. In that case, PA residents may have to find another viable funding strategy, possibly including higher in-state tuition or more direct state funding.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    "If a school like UIUC or PSU or UCLA reduces the number of discounted-tuition slots available to in-state residents, then in-staters are going to be unhappy. Cornell's funding doesn't really have anything to do with it."

    And yet, Cornell has sucked up relatively large amounts of state funding while keeping a small number of slots for in-state students (in fact, shrinking them by spinning and privatizing colleges when their endowments grow large enough) with seemingly no negative repercussions.

    I find the difference in reaction interesting.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 61,528 Senior Member
    edited June 23
    [quote=Corbett]The same issue has been affecting the UC system in California (except that the concern arose when OOS enrollment hit only the 20% level). So the state cut a deal with the UC system: more state funding in return for a cap on OOS students. Something similar may be necessary in PA. [/quote]

    One big difference is that the in-state financial aid in PA is worse than in CA. May not be a concern for most on these forums who would be full pay in either state, but that is a concern for most families in general.
  • CorbettCorbett Registered User Posts: 2,497 Senior Member
    edited June 23
    I find the difference in reaction interesting.
    It should be evident that different states may have different funding models and different expectations for their state universities. For example, look at the changes over just 10 years at the University of Alabama:
    In 2004, 72 percent of new freshmen here were Alabamians. By 2014, the share was 36 percent.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/nations-prominent-public-universities-are-shifting-to-out-of-state-students/2016/01/30/07575790-beaf-11e5-bcda-62a36b394160_story.html?utm_term=.2304516948a0

    That's a obviously a pretty dramatic shift, over a pretty short period of time. But as far as I can tell, the citizens of Alabama aren't concerned about it.

    Meanwhile, here in California, there has been widespread and vocal outrage because the share of state residents among new freshmen at Berkeley and UCLA has fallen to only ~ 70-75%. The UC system has been forced to cap out-of-state and international enrollment in response.

    So yes, there are differences in reaction between different states. That doesn't necessarily mean that the citizens of State A are wrong and that those of State B are right. Maybe they have different priorities.
  • monydadmonydad Registered User Posts: 7,384 Senior Member
    edited June 23
    re#24: "in fact, shrinking them by spinning and privatizing colleges when their endowments grow large enough) with seemingly no negative repercussions."


    I only know of two instances of this.
    The Hotel School spun off, but that was in 1952.
    I have no idea what effect that event had on state contributions, in 1953 and afterwards. It was a really long time ago. And undoubtedly other things were also happening that might impact funding levels.

    The only other instance I can think of of is only just happening right now, as Dyson is in the process of separating from the Ag school to, along with the hotel school, become the undergraduate wing of the Johnson school, their graduate business school which is already established and private . Whatever impact this will have on state funding levels for the ag school is yet to be determined. It is too soon to say there will be no negative repercussions. But agricultural economics has long been part of the Agriculture College, and the university's land grant outreach programs probably include economic issues to some extent. So there clearly is a lot to be worked out. But I doubt anyone is ignoring it. Maybe they will decide to up the in-state proportion for the remaining part of the Ag school to make up the body-count difference and therefore justify the same state contribution levels. It's just too early to tell.
  • jonrijonri Registered User Posts: 6,830 Senior Member
    Cornell's land grant colleges have very strong articulation agreements with some NY State CCs. So, it's surprisingly common for kids who attend public NY state CCs to transfer to Cornell and graduate in two years. See, e.g., https://admissions.cals.cornell.edu/apply/transfer/transfer-agreements

    So, a disproportionate percentage of NY State residents who attend Cornell are juniors and seniors. I think one reason NY State is willing to fund Cornell is that this ability to transfer to Cornell is highly prized by local legistators, particularly those from upstate.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    edited June 23
    @jonri: UVa has very strong articulation agreements with VA CCs as well. In fact, you hit a certain GPA at a VA CC and you are automatically accepted for transfer in to UVa.



    That doesn't change the fact that NYS gets much less bang for the buck (in terms of both slots and tuition discount as well as choice of majors) from Cornell than pretty much any other state does from schools they spend money on.
  • jonrijonri Registered User Posts: 6,830 Senior Member
    edited June 23
    I don't doubt it, but.....

    I live in NYC. In all sorts of ways, NYC residents get ****!!! by the state legislature, which is controlled by upstate. As far as I know, UVa doesn't have a highly ranked School of Agriculture.Most of the kids who take advantage of the Cornell CC articulation agreements live Upstate. While New York State may not get "its bang for the buck" from Cornell, upstate DOES.

    I hope that makes sense.

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