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Empowering students to fulfill their dreams through education.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Picture by Allan Ferguson
UCSD is ending its Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) for transfer students. The last term for UCSD TAG admission will be fall 2014. The reasons cited: too many applicants and decreased state funding. San Diego Community College District Chancellor, Constance Carroll, says this decision will hurt local transfer students and reduce diversity. Michael Cash, Associated Student president at City, feels this is a blow to the students who need TAG the most: "On top of the increase in the GPA requirement, this is a further kick in the face. We have a lot of lower income students coming from urban challenges," Cash said.

As a community college counselor in San Diego since the early 1990s, I've seen the UCSD TAG go from a 2.8 GPA to 3.0 to 3.5 and now, it's being eliminated altogether. There's no doubt in my mind this is affecting local transfer students and blocking their access to education. Tell us, from a student's perspective, what you think. Give us your opinions and comments on our counseling blog.

UCSD Ends Community College Transfer Guarantee appeared in the "U-T San Diego" on May 2, 2012. This article was forwarded by City counselor, Tandy Ward.

Also, here's another recent article that points to lower enrollments among UCs and CSUs in the past five years. The trend has affected community college students as tuitions have increased and students have increasingly looked to transfer out of state. "Californians' Enrollment In UC, CSU Declines, Study Finds" appeared in the "LA Times" on May 10, 2012. The article was forwarded by VP of Student Services, Peter White, and Counseling Department Chair, Cathi Lopez. Here is a link to the study this article cites.


  1. Loss of the Community College Transfer Guarantee will impose a huge hardship for students from our lower income community and people of color. Community College students, many who are the first in their family to go to college will miss out on access to a UC school near home. It's a hardship for many students because of family issues , as care givers, of (children, grandparents, seniors or other family members with disabilities) and they can not afford to travel out of town. This decision also hurts the diversity of UCSD. We have seen this play out at UCSD in the past, in how the lack of diversity hurts, (remember Compton Cook Out)

    Studies tell us diversity in schools is good for all students, mixing it up. Diversity reduces conflict and promotes understanding, ( in the workforce, decision making in who gets access to services and programs) In our community this hurts the financial health of our state, where we reduce opportunity and options to higher education we reduce access to good paying jobs and leave low-income and people of color in low paying service jobs with little pathways out of their castle system that we have made for them.

    Has our UC 's and UCSD really given up on promoting the up lifting of the community in which it sits. Are the young people of CA not worth its investment any longer. I say shame on them (UCSD) you have given up your mission statement for what, more money?. and left the community you live fend for it self if it can...if your answer is students can always go some where else, if they work hard....well that is what the students did, they worked hard only to be told ..."good work " you just can not come here, we changed our mind. GOOD LUCK on your academic career. ................. Maurice, SDCC

  2. Thank you, Maurice, for giving a compassionate, reasoned, and strong voice to this issue and the students it affects.

  3. This is going to be very hard on transferring students. I was hoping to use TAG for this fall at first with a GPA just above 3.1 but I heard the news about the increase to a 3.5 requirement and lost hope since I can't get my GPA up to that in just one year even if I earn all A's. I always shoot for A's but there are always circumstances which come up that I cannot get what I wish to accomplish. I know that, as I, there are also many other students in a similar situation.

    1. I agree with you that it's harder on transfer students, but I hope you will still apply in November even if you don't have a 3.5 GPA. UCSD is competitive but you still have a chance. Also, keep other options open; perhaps apply to other UCs, CSUs or private colleges. Check in with counseling if you want to go over other options. Thanks for your comments and we're keeping our fingers crossed for you.

  4. I do hope that UCSD considers the rigor of certain community colleges over others. I am quite embarrassed to say this, however I have been to several community college districts with different academic standards. There are some community colleges where I was able to easily get an A compared to other colleges. Now you may be saying it is probably, because I chose an easy professor. To be honest with you I may have done this, however compared to what SDCCD expects its rigor has challenged me in so many ways. I am expected to read a lot more, take more tests and write a lot more. Now you may be wondering didn't that other community college do the same. Yes, not to the extent and stress SDCCD put me through. When I think back on my academic career at SD City College I am proud to have been able to get the type of education that would challenge me. I am glad that I didn't continue to that "other" community college where I could have simply gotten all A's and gone to UC Berkeley just to fail.

    I wonder and I wonder do the UCs consider the rigor at a certain campus over an other. I really don't think so.


    1. Thanks, Joel, for your comment, and I'm glad you felt challenged by your education, and it sounds like the challenge helped you grow.

    2. Probably is just a matter of who they want. UCs are universities that i consider research universities. I applied last year and did not get accepted because of my low GPA, but at the same time i think: "Well, i know many high school mates that went to a UC, and some of them are working right now, some don't; one of my friends is even working at Macy's right now with her B.A. in Psychology." So going to a UC does not means that you are getting a good paying job. It's sad, but it's not the end of the word.

  5. I got accepted to UCSD under the TAG program (when it still required a 3.0 GPA) and it ended up being a costly mistake. The worst part of it was it was actually easier for me to transfer there than to SDSU! I was an "older" transfer, married, and have two kids and campus culture isn't exactly suited for those kinds of students -- which my academic advisor at UCSD reminded me every quarter until I ended up flunking out. Now I have nothing to show for it but a few useless upper div credits and an expensive student loan I am unable to pay back since I also have no job.

    I am disappointed they're doing away with TAG completely as it is one of the few opportunities for low income, local students (which I was) to attend a "great" university. But I also think that they also need to focus on the people portion of their transfer methods and I agree wholeheartedly that it is a research university but that doesn't mean they should completely forsake local and disadvantaged students. Granted they don't teach in the most practical of terms -- many of the people I met there said what they learned was more theoretical than practical -- the fact remains that it is still a degree and that's what many companies look at when you're job hunting. Not to mention name recognition.

    1. Thanks for this comment. It brings up a really great point -- that it's important to research a college, not only for academics, but for its campus culture and environment prior to transfer.

      I agree with you that eliminating TAG affects low income, local transfers who might be interested in UCSD. One avenue that is still open for high school and first year college students who want to transfer to UCSD is the UC Links program which is still at a 3.0 GPA.

      I hope you don't give up on your education if it's something you're still interested in. Perhaps there may be another college out there that's a good fit. I believe Kelli is going to be doing an article in the future about private colleges and how they might be a viable alternative to state colleges. The LA Times article link on the UCSD TAG post indicates that fewer CA students are transferring to UCs and CSUs.