California community college students enjoy many benefits when transferring to a CSU or UC campus. Transferring community college students have first priority over others for admission to California State System or University of California system, both of which consider current college grades, not high school grades.
Furthermore, the universities do not ask for SATs or ACTs. The academic benefits are compounded by financial benefits when one considers the low cost of fees while at a community college.
A great way to start the transfer process is by getting advice from the counselors who can guide students through the often-confusing CSU and UC requirements. Different colleges have different admissions requirements to consider for a student at junior status. Students should have a general idea of their intended major and of a certain campus.
Assist.org, an online student-transfer information system, can also help. The site shows how course credits earned at a public California college or university can be applied when transferred to another. Students can explore many majors offered at colleges in depth and take virtual tours trough the campuses. The site also gives financial aid advice and assistance.
A common way to start the transfer process is by completing the guidelines of the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum. This is a map of core classes that can be used for the UC and CSU systems, as well as for many other public and private universities and colleges. The completion of all the IGETC requirements will help the student transfer without having to take additional lower division classes once arriving at the university.
IGETC is comprised of five general areas: Area 1, English and communication; Area 2, mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning; Area 3, arts and humanities; Area 4, social and behavioral sciences; and Area 5, science, one physical science and one biological. For UC applicants, there is an additional requirement of a course above the elementary level in foreign language or the completion of two years of foreign language in high school.
CSUs require at least a 2.0 GPA and at least 60 transferable units from community college students. The UC system is more competitive, requiring anywhere from a 2.4 GPA to a 3.33 GPA, depending on which UC Campus the student is applying to and the major chosen. The UC System also looks at academic performance, preparation, grade trends and extra curricular activities, among other things.
The UC system offers agreements with some community colleges in which a contract is signed by the student, community college counselor and the potential UC counselor. This contract guarantees admissions one year before to chosen major as long as breadth requirements and 60 units are completed. Check with counselor on eligibility to majors and schools.