By Samantha Iniguez
East Los Angeles College students joined the University of California Los Angeles for their 20th Annual Student Transfer Outreach Mentor Program conference.
STOMP is the premier student access program at UCLA, hosting over 1,000 California community college students annually, providing students with knowledge and resources to better their chances of getting into UCs.
The conference was held on Friday at UCLA’s Ackerman Grand Ballroom and hosted by past transfer students in order to encourage the prospective generation of transfer students that their dreams of attending a UC are attainable.
Students heard information from nine admission advisers of undergraduate UC campuses; Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz.
All UC advisers went over the importance of making an application stand out above all others and how exactly to do it. One way is making sure the application is a holistic view of who the student is.
Advisers said UCs are always looking for students who can bring something unique to their campus, and students should take the opportunity to express what they have to offer while writing their personal essays.
“I imagine what it would be like if the classrooms looked like this room. They don’t, but they can,” Alfred Herrera said. He is director of UCLA’s center for community college partnerships.
Herrera encouraged students to be proud of who they are and acknowledge the strength in all the great qualities they have to offer UCs.
Students were also heavily advised to consider the UCLA center for community college partnership programs.
Students in the program have access to UCLA’s summer and year-long academic preparatory transfer programs which guide students through the community college experience, the application and admissions process, research and pre-graduate opportunities and career exploration.
CCCP scholars are usually first-generation college students, low-income and from underserved communities. The program offers 11 different sessions each catering to different goal-oriented students, and each session has its unique set of acceptance requirements.
The program gives students the advantage of attending one summer session free of cost from the 11 offered and contact with a peer mentor once a month who assists in the transfer and application process.
One way to secure a spot in a UC is to be a part of the Transfer Admissions Guarantee program. Six UC campuses offer the TAG program for California community college students who meet specific requirements, including major prep.
The UCs that participate in the TAG program are Davis, Irvine, Merced, Riverside, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz. Students can only apply for a TAG at one campus but are welcome to apply to more than one of the participating schools. Applications for TAG are due on Sept. 30.
Admissions advisers also spoke on the importance of financial aid and said money should never stop students from getting the education they deserve which is why UCs offer Financial Aid workshops. These workshops allow students to work one-on-one with a financial adviser to get their tuition as low as possible.
Students can save more money by considering attending UCs including Irvine, Merced or UCLA, UCs that provide one or two years of free housing.
They not only helps students save, but also allows them the opportunity to experience life on campus.
UC Riverside provides support even after acceptance with clubs like the cultural club that helps students with academic and emotional support, providing a safe space from student easing into the different environment.
After the UC panel, guests could attend workshops, explore the campus through one of the tours offered and have their questions answered at the resource fair.
All the speakers from the panel were present allowing the students a chance to network and get answers to their questions.
ELAC student, Kristy Gadea-Hernandez said the resource fair really helped her better understand how to make her application stand out and exposed her to opportunities and programs that can help her familiarize herself with the UC system.
For more information on these programs and help with applications, students can visit the Transfer Center in D7.