Transferring to a four-year university is not so easy

By Mariah PalmerContributing WriterMany high school students believe it is an easy process to enroll into a community college and transfer within two years. This goal, that many students set, is slowly changing.

High school graduates who want to earn a degree have two options, attend a university (if accepted) or attend a local community college.

Those students who decide to attend a community college are put on a two-year plan by a school counselor.

This two-year plan allows students to know exactly what classes they must take summer, fall, winter and spring for the next two years in order to transfer out to a CSU or UC’s. It might seem like an easy process, but it is not.

The transfer rate has gone down, not just at East Los Angeles College, but at many community colleges. Due to budget cuts, classes have been cut.

Many community colleges such as Rio Hondo and Cypress colleges do not offer winter or summer sessions. Not only does this affect all transferring students but it also overcrowds classes during fall and spring.

Former ELAC student Ashley Rolon says, “I thought I was going to transfer to UC Berkley in two years but I actually had to do one full year at Pasadena City College as well as two full years at ELAC before I could even apply to any college.”

Rolon went on to explain that it was unbelievably hard every semester to get the right classes to transfer.

If she didn’t get the right class it would set her off of her two-year plan. Rolon now attends San Luis Obispo College and is majoring in psychology.

A student must have all of their general education as well as specific transferable classes passed and finished before transferring.

Students must also keep above a 3.4 or higher GPA for specific colleges to accept their application.

Harvard University in 2011 had 6.3% overall freshman rate and out of that percentage, only 1.0% was the transfer rate. Another way to look at it, out of 1486 transfers that applied to Harvard only 15 were accepted.

Yale University had a 7.7% overall freshmen rate with 2.7% transfer rate. With 1070 transfer applications submitted only 29 were accepted.

It becomes difficult to add classes because students are competing with up to 25 to 50 students trying to add the same class with only a minimum of five seats open for a professor to fill.

ELAC student Jane Song says, “Trying to add a class is so stressful, most of the time you have to put your name in a hat and hope that your name gets called. And if it doesn’t, your on to the next class to try and add.”

Song has been attending ELAC for two years now and she explains how it would have been so much easier if she had done better in high school and applied then.

Transferring out of a community college should be an easy process for those who earn it.

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