6 Things You Must Do in Community College to be Competitive for UC Transfer

Getting excited or anxious about how well you are preparing for UC transfer? Here is a list of must-dos to help you gain a competitive edge!

Things You Must Do

  1. Look into the requirements for Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) at the six UC campuses that offer them (Berkeley, UCLA, and San Diego do not offer TAG). Carefully review the chart that outlines the TAG program restrictions, filing deadlines, major limitations, and eligibility information (make sure you read the entire document and remember that the information is updated every year, usually in September). For links to the TAG program at each UC campus, go to Transfer Programs and Campus-Specific Admission Information section of my website and look under each UC campus for the link to the TAG program.
  2. While Berkeley, UCLA, and San Diego do not offer TAG, each campus has other transfer programs available.
    • Berkeley offers two transfer programs: Transfer Alliance Project (at partner California community colleges only; targets disadvantaged students) and Starting Point Mentorship Program (any California community college student may participate by filing an application, subject to space availability).
    • UCLA’s Transfer Alliance Program (at partner California community colleges only) gives you priority consideration for admission to majors in the College of Letters and Science.
    • San Diego’s UniversityLink program (targets disadvantaged students) guarantees admission to UCSD if you meet certain requirements and attend one of the partner California community colleges.
  3. Make sure you complete your English and Math requirements ASAP. If you are applying for TAG, many campuses set English and Math completion deadlines to Fall term prior to transfer for TAG (UCI is the earliest with a deadline of Summer term prior to the TAG filing period). Even if you are not applying to TAG, you should still complete your English and Math requirements as soon as possible (many UCs shy away from applicants with in-progress Spring English or Math requirements because of the risk of having to cancel the admission offer when applicants receive non-passing grades in those courses).
  4. Academic achievement is the single most important factor in transfer admission evaluation. Your grades and the completion of your major prerequisite requirements are essential for successful transfer (completion of general education requirements can help speed up your time to graduation). While it’s important for you to demonstrate interest in your major through extracurricular or academic enrichment activities, your grades and coursework should ALWAYS come first.
  5. Aim to complete ALL major prerequisite requirements by the end of Fall term prior to transfer. When deciding how to schedule major prerequisite requirements and general education courses, always take the major prerequisite requirements first. Your academic preparation for your major carries significant weight in the admission evaluation process and having the grades available for evaluation will give you an edge.
  6. If you receive a D or F grade, make sure you repeat the course to erase the bad grade from GPA calculation and fulfill your course requirement (although you MUST report both the non-passing grade AND the repeated grade on the UC Application when you apply). For courses you didn’t pass and don’t intend to repeat, make sure you look into “academic renewal” (AR) at your community college; the process is different at every college so make sure you time everything just right so you have it done by the time you apply to the UCs (you MUST report every AR you have received on your UC Application).

BONUS! What You Should NOT Worry About

An occasional W is not a big deal; the UCs simply disregard them during admission evaluation. If you have a string of Ws, then you should provide an explanation on your UC Application. Remember: you MUST report every W grade you have received on your UC Application. Exceptions: 1) Haas School of Business frowns upon Ws in major prerequisite requirements so you MUST provide an explanation if you have any Ws in those; 2) Merced prefers that you provide an explanation for every W you received.

Additional UC Transfer Resources

Sign up for the UC Transfer Admission Planner and update your community college coursework and grades at the end of each term. The UC TAP allows you to express interest to the UCs where you plan to apply and the information you fill in can be used to apply for TAG later.

Check out Quick Reference Guide to UC Admissions, a comprehensive resource guide put together by the UCs that explains EVERYTHING there is to know about freshman and transfer admissions (if you need something in writing as proof, this is where you’ll find it).

Need me to guide you through the college planning process? Sign up for my Admission Preparation Service today!

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