Keep U tailored to state students

Daily Editorial Board

President Eric Kaler recently proposed a five-year enrollment plan for the University of Minnesota, seeking to increase undergraduate enrollment by 2,500 students and to guarantee that 65 percent of freshmen and 68 percent of transfer students are from Minnesota.
Because the number of Minnesota high school graduates is expected to decline over the next several years, University officials say it’s a risk to rely on local students as a sound enrollment strategy. 
Yet some have worried that recent proposals to increase out-of-state tuition by 15 percent could decrease the University’s appeal for nonresidents. 
Some parts of the enrollment plan meet our approval, including the University’s intention to promote four-year graduate rates and reserve about one-third of the student body for transfer students.
Furthermore, we are glad to see University administrators preparing for a decline in Minnesota high school graduations. However, should the decline force the University to decrease its overall percentage of Minnesota students, we urge administrators not to permanently substitute local students for out-of-state ones. 
The University of California system demonstrates the hazards of relying too heavily on out-of-state recruitment. California’s universities have become national names, but their nonresident students pay enormously high tuition, and California residents often struggle to secure admission at all. 
Because Minnesota tax money supports our school, we believe the University ought to serve the Minnesota community first.