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Transfer students express disappointment as UC opposes transfer bill

(Daily Bruin file photo)

By Katherine Wang

Aug. 27, 2023 2:29 p.m.

This post was updated Aug. 27 at 8:32 p.m.

Transfer students expressed disappointment with the UC’s recent decision to oppose a bill standardizing public university transfer admission requirements.

According to Assembly Bill 1749, community college students who have earned an Associate Degree for Transfer will have guaranteed admission to CSUs. According to the bill, if the UC Board of Regents were to adopt AB 1749, transfer students who attained an ADT with a 3.0 grade point average would be given priority admission to the UC system as well.

The UC’s rejection of AB 1749 this summer opposes the creation of a single transfer pathway for California public universities. Without the bill, transfer students must continue to fulfill specific admission requirements when applying to transfer to the UCs and CSUs, according to the UC Academic Senate’s rejection report of AB 1749.

According to the rejection report, several factors influenced the UCs decision to oppose the bill. The report stated that requirements for different fields of studies, including many STEM courses, in the UC and CSU systems don’t align, which means upper division requirements and degree programs would take significantly more time to complete for transfer students.

Implementing a single transfer admission criteria for the UC and the CSU systems may reduce demographic diversity and decrease the number of spots for new applicants, the report said.

Thyra Cobbs, the transfer student representative for the Undergraduate Students Association Council, said she was not surprised the University opposed the bill. She added that she felt the bill would economically harm the UCs.

“I think they would lose a certain amount of money if they were to show support for it,” Cobbs said. “The UC system, compared to the CSU system, it gets a lot more international students just for its prestige at the admissions level. … If they were to extend that to a larger group of students, I think that the economic value of the UC system would hypothetically go down.”

Cyrus Vong, a rising first-year political science transfer student, said he sees the situation from both the perspective of a student and the administration. He said while he believes an ADT can be impactful for transfer students, there could also be issues with the cost and space if the UC were to adopt the bill.

Vong added that the UC’s opposition to the bill will significantly reduce the amount of choices community college students have for transferring.

“If we’re bringing down the rate of ADT acceptances, this is going to bring down a lot of motivation for students that want to transfer or just even apply in general,” Vong said.

Cobbs, a rising third-year African American studies and history transfer student, said she feels opposing the bill hinders the number of choices transfer students have for college. Many transfer students, including herself, must take longer than four years to graduate college because many of their class credits don’t carry over to their transfer school, she added.

“Not only do we have to meet the requirements of our individual community college, we also have to meet the requirements of just the basis of whether we want to go to a CSU or UC, and then we also have to meet the requirements of every school of those types,” Cobbs said.

Cobbs also said the UC’s opposition to the bill could take a mental toll on transfer students, who have several requirements to track. She added that many of her community college credits did not transfer once she was admitted to UCLA.

“I had so many classes not used for my UCLA degree. It really felt like I got my associate’s degree for no reason,” she said. “When you have bills like this, I feel like they reinforce a lot of mentally draining experiences.”

Roqua Montez, director of media relations and press secretary at the UC Office of the President, said in an emailed statement that the office believes refining transfer admission requirements remains a work in progress.

“We are continuing to work on this with the governor and the legislature as we share the desire to ensure that the transfer process is streamlined and student focused,” he said in the statement. “We do not believe that AB 1749 as written is the best way to do that.”

Vong also said he is not satisfied with the current decision and expects amendments soon.

“I would like to see the legislature take action immediately on this bill,” Vong said. “While there is opposition coming from a very big office that should be advocating for students, the legislature should consider the voices of our students rather than the (UC) president.”

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