UCs extend deadlines

Just two days after the due date for applications to the University of California for Fall 2016, California community college students received unexpected news in the midst of preparation for finals — the deadline to apply has been extended to Jan. 4.

“The University of California proudly enrolls more community college transfer students than any other university of its caliber,” said U.C. President Janet Napolitano in a news release from her office Dec. 2. “Giving transfer students more time to file their applications will help hard-working, eligible students across the state make their way their way to a U.C. campus next fall.”

According to news posted on the U.C. website from Nov. 19, the U.C. passed a budget for the 2016-17 school year which included a plan to add 10,000 California undergraduates over the next three years to the U.C. system, with 5,000 of them being planned for next year. Due to this projected growth, the Dec. 2 news release from the president’s office said it decided to extend the original Nov. 30 deadline.

California Community College Chancellor also Brice Harris sent out a letter Dec. 2 urging faculty and staff to act quickly and encourage their students to take advantage of this second-chance enrollment period.

“Many students may not see a U.C. campus as being within their reach, but together we can encourage our hard-working and talented students to apply,” said Harris.

Although this has presented an opportunity to students who may have been unable to apply to a U.C. before the deadline, it came as a surprise.

We don’t know anything more than students right now,” said Los Medanos College Transfer Services Coordinator Rachel Anicettie, adding that the thought process on the extension hadn’t been communicated. She said it is also not clear how the increased enrollment will be distributed — either equally between the U.C. campuses or based on each university’s current enrollment — and also added that some majors are off limits for the extended deadline, such as U.C. Irvine’s writing degrees and UCLA’s film degree.

But Anicettie said students are encouraged to ask questions and come by for help with the application process. There will also be a workshop Wednesday, Dec. 9 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Transfer Center to assist students with applying to U.C.s as well to private universities that are still accepting applications.

Other transfer organizations are also offering help to community college students, such as Cal’s Experience Berkeley Program that assists minority students in their efforts to transfer to there. Program Director Kenny Gutierrez sent out an email Dec. 3 to Experience Berkeley scholars announcing the extension, and offering advice and help for those students who hadn’t yet applied or want to apply to additional U.C. campuses.

“As we grow, we want to do all we can to reach the goal outlined in the California Master Plan to enroll one new transfer students for every two new freshman,” said Gutierrez.

The extension is part of a series of efforts the U.C. system is using to boost California student enrollment and aid students in transferring, including introducing Transfer Pathways for certain majors and the approval of the budget plan for the 2016-17 school year, which includes funding for the planned increased enrollment.

“Our transfer students typically do as well as, or even better than, students who entered a U.C. campus as freshmen,” said Harris in his letter. “This application extension will only help expand the pool of qualified applicants from our great system who will thrive at U.C.”

Statistics from the U.C. website back up Harris and indicate 85 percent of U.C. transfer students graduate with U.C. freshman coming in at 83 percent.

LMC President Bob Kratochvil said the change in the application deadline could make admissions more competitive overall at the U.C. level but said he thinks it could be good for community college students.

If you would like more information on transferring to a U.C. or help with an application go to the Transfer Center, located in the upper level of the new Student Services building, or contact Transfer Center staff at 473-7444.