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The University of California Proposes System-Wide Transfer Admissions Guarantee

Mar 31, 2023

This week, the University of California announced a proposal for its first-ever, systemwide admission guarantee for California community college transfer students.

According to Teresa Watanabe of the Los Angeles Times, “To receive the guarantee, community college students would need to complete a newly unified set of general education courses required by both UC and California State University, complete specific coursework needed for UC majors, and earn a minimum GPA.” Students are not guaranteed admittance to a specific campus, and if they do not receive admission to their top choice, they will be offered a spot at UC Santa Cruz, Riverside, or Merced.

Susan Cochran, chair of the UC systemwide Academic Senate, stated: “The key to transfer is to ask of students only what they need to do and not more…We think this proposal … is a positive step forward for simplifying transfers and helping UC meet its responsibilities to the people of the state of California.”

Six undergraduate UC campuses already offer transfer guarantee programs to California community college students. However, each campus has different requirements for the program and high-demand majors are excluded. Currently, the top UC campuses—UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UC San Diego—do not offer a guaranteed admission program. These three campuses would be included in the new proposal but, according to Watanabe, “no campus would be required to accept more students than they have room for.”

Critics of the proposal argued that “the newly proposed UC transfer pathway only adds to the complexity and confusion around transfer,” as quoted by Michele Siqueiros, president of the Campaign for College Opportunity. Watanabe explained that others are pushing for “a single transfer pathway that community college students could complete for admission to either UC or CSU.”

This systemwide UC transfer guarantee is still currently in the proposal stage and its fate will become clearer after state budget meetings over the next few months.


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