Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1674 into law, addressing the March 2016 state audit of the UC system. About 16,000 nonresident applicants received admission to UCs despite average, in-state, accepted applicant’s test scores being higher, the audit revealed. AB 1674 states the UC can only admit non-California residents when they exceed the academic qualifications of in-state, accepted applicants. The bill requires the UC Office of the President and the UC Board of Regents to change the current admission policy by July 1, 2018.

The UC system is meant to be the “gold standard” and should prioritize California residents, said UC President Janet Napolitano in a statement. After a reduction in state funding, the UC relied on funding from out-of-state students, who pay about $28,000 more in tuition than residents, said bill co-authors and assembly members Catharine Baker and Tim Grayson to The Daily Californian. Baker and Grayson said AB 1674 is a way to combat that financial dependence on out-of-state students.

“This bill will make sure that admission at a UC campus is based on academic performance, not the revenue that the student generates,” Grayson said in a public statement.

The UC Board of Regents already began moving in this direction following a temporary hold of $18.5 million in state funding. State lawmakers said the funds will be released once the change is made. In May 2017, the board approved an 18 percent cap on non-California resident admittance. The regents will be held accountable under the state auditor’s surveillance, based on the new requirements set by AB 1674.