“Public colleges and universities were designed to serve the educational needs of those who live in the state. To uphold that mission, some schools and states set enrollment caps or limit the number of out-of-state students that can be admitted each year.
There are still incentives for public universities to accept out-of-state students, however. Nonstate residents not only bring varying perspectives to the classroom, but they also generate more money for an institution – the average tuition cost at a public college during the 2021-2022 school year for out-of-state students was more than twice as high as it was for in-state attendees.
‘Historically, we’ve seen some public systems and states look to out-of-state students particularly in times where they need to meet extra revenue or don’t want to increase tuition on their in-state students,’ says Julie Peller, executive director of Higher Learning Advocates, a nonprofit that advocates for federal higher education policy reform.
What Are College Enrollment Caps?
Enrollment caps occur at both public and private colleges. Schools not only impose restrictions on total enrollment, but also cap the size of specific programs or classes in order to advance strategic priorities, like maintaining faculty-to-student ratios, meeting revenue goals, serving local students and managing the growth of academic programs, says Lynn Pasquerella, president of the American Association of Colleges and Universities, a membership organization for higher education institutions.”