Budget Cuts Delay Transfer Plans for Many

Angelica Fraire

In today’s economy, being a competitive student can be a challenge when applying to four-year colleges or universities. However, knowing the steps keeps the doors of opportunity open.

Like many others, Jennifer Celeste Mendoza, 18, applied to Cal State L.A., USC, Cal State Northridge, and UC Santa Barbara.
Mendoza is majoring in neurology, hoping to eventually earn her doctoral degree. She was happy to find out that “I got in to Santa Barbara, Northridge, and Cal State L.A.

“I attended the orientations at Santa Barbara and Northridge, but when I realized that financial aid would not pay for outside housing, and that Santa Barbara was too expensive to live. I had nowhere to go,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza graduated from high school this past spring. With the high price of tuition and living expenses, she asked her brother to help her find a college to attend this fall.
“My brother did some research and he told me that Glendale Community College was the best choice,” Mendoza said.

However, Mendoza is not the only one who has scrambled to find a college at the last minute. While the percentage is not known at this time, many students on campus have had to attend community colleges out of high school or have been forced to stay another year instead of transferring after they have already been accepted to a college or university.

Transfer counselor Kevin Meza said, “UC’s should stay the same for fall,” when asked if California universities have been affected by accepting students during the economic crisis.

Meza strongly recommended “to apply on time and to have what the school is asking of them [for example the intuitions requirements] done.”

Meza has noticed that the colleges and universities have enforced their rules more strictly and that the institutions are less flexible than before about meeting requirements.

Knowing that UCLA, Cal State L.A., USC, and Cal State Northridge are the most common colleges that students tend to apply to, Meza said, “Students that come to the Transfer Center and know their options will be better off when it comes to applying for schools.”

“A 2.0 GPA might not get you in, it would be more like a 2.4 or something like that [when applying to Cal Poly Pomona],” Admission Counselor for Cal Poly Pomona, Dulce M. Guerrero said of her school.

Guerrero said bringing a student’s GPA up, having 60 semester transferable units completed prior to applying, and having recommended major classes completed will put them at a better advantage than the others when applying to Cal Poly Pomona.

Guerrero pointed out that because of budget cuts, majors that were not considered to be impacted in the past are now being impacted and the school is forced to accept fewer students.

The priority filing deadline for fall 2010 is Nov. 30. However, before that date, the Transfer Center will hold several events throughout this month and November to help students with the applications.

Some of the events scheduled include meetings with representatives from several colleges.

There are workshops that can help students with their UC personal statement, a UC general admissions information workshop and a Transfer Fair held in Plaza Vaquero at 10 a.m. today.