Transferring to a four-year university is a stressful process, from meeting requirements to figuring out the financial cost, to worrying about getting accepted to your dream school. However, the Transfer Agreement Guarantee program, better known as TAG, helps students in the process of transferring.
According to the University of California website participating in TAG offers you an early review of academic records, early admission notification and specific guidance about major preparation and general education coursework. Six UC campuses, including UC Riverside, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz and UC Irvine, offer the Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) program for California community college students who meet specific requirements.
“The fact that admissions is so competitive… it’s really amazing that there’s this clear cut pathway to give students not only the access, but also the opportunities to also to get the same preparation that they would at a UC,” said UC Irvine representative Norma Peniche.
However, there are limitations and caveats Peniche noted.
Students can only apply in their last year at a community college in the fall and only within the month of September. Additionally, the program allows student to apply only to one school. Applying students need 30 units completed and have 60 units completed by the end of the school year in order to apply. A GPA anywhere from a 2.4 to 3.4 GPA, depending on the school’s requirements, is preferable.
Each school is different and so students should make note of these variations before they decide to use the TAG option on one of their applications. Using the TAG program is a strategic decision, valuable for more challenging or competitive majors. Peniche suggests that students refer to the TAG Matrix, a pdf available online which can help clarify these differences and ensure student success. However, using the Transfer Admission Planner makes everything easier, as is congregates all of the information needed for the application process.
“[The Transfer Admission Planner] is pretty easy to navigate… You can fill in your grades from every semester, which is really helpful ‘cause then you’re not cramming it trying to fill everything in,” said Martinez.
Students should also be sure to refer to the Transfer Center for help.
“We have specially trained students and staff to help students check requirements and fill everything out,” said Transfer Director Rachel Anicetti. “I’ve worked with students who’s GPA was lower than the average accepted GPA for their major, but because they met TAG requirements, were still accepted to their UC campus.”
Students interested in the TAG program should follow these steps:
Use the UC Transfer Admission Planner to complete the TAG application, and review it with a community college counselor and/or UC campus TAG adviser.
Submit the application between Sept. 1–30.
Also fill out the application for admission to UC and submit it Nov. 1–30.
Students will be notified of their TAG approval in November. If approved, students should be sure to fulfill all remaining coursework and GPA requirements articulated in the agreement. Those not interested in TAG or who don’t meet the requirements, should apply to UC colleges in the month November. Many who are not eligible for TAG are still exceptionally well-qualified and are strongly encouraged to apply for admission to UC’s through the regular application process during the filing period.