Pinched by state budget cuts, the University of California system has set its sights on a lesser tapped resource: well-off students from beyond the Golden State.
The system accepted nearly twice as many non-California freshmen for this fall as it did two years ago, opening its doors to students willing to pay a premium to attend the state's top universities.
UC officials are aggressively courting non-resident students through college fairs and high school counselors. UC San Diego, which had the system's biggest admissions jump, offers a separate brochure that could have come from the local tourist bureau, complete with photos of surfers and sun-drenched beaches.
System officials say the push beyond California's borders is overdue and that other elite public schools such as the University of Michigan fill a third or more of their slots with out-of-state students. About 7 percent of UC undergraduates are nonresidents, though the percentage is higher at UC Berkeley and UCLA.