New GPA Requirement for Transfer Students

Community college students wishing to enter UCSD through the Transfer Admission Guarantee now have to earn GPAs of 3.5 or higher to be eligible for admission, effective Fall Quarter 2012.

The TAG program promises guaranteed admission participating UC undergraduate campuses for students who fulfill a certain set of course requirements and obtain a certain GPA. Seven of the nine UC campuses use the TAG program, which is offered at all California community colleges. UCLA and UC Berkeley do not participate in the program. Previously, all participating schools had a 3.0 minimum GPA except UC Santa Barbara, whose minimum was 3.2. UCSD’s new 3.5 requirement is now the highest in the system. According to Associate Vice Chancellor of Admissions Mae Brown, the mean GPA for transfer students admitted for Fall Quarter 2010 was 3.55.

Brown said the university changed the requirements due to its increasing inability to accommodate the growing number of transfer applications.

Of the 70,474 applications received for Fall 2011, more than 17,000 are transfer students. Of all the transfer students, 9,000 are TAG applicants.

“This incredible growth represents a 19-percent increase when comparing Fall 2010,” Brown said. “Given the budget cuts and campus capacity realities, UC San Diego is unable to sustain a guarantee program at this level of participation.

UCSD received almost 9,000 TAG applications for Fall 2011

The Committee on Admissions met to develop new guidelines to sustain the university’s TAG program. Brown said the COA reviewed TAG data from the past four years and examined the impact of continued funding restrictions. The university then announced the official policy change on Feb. 2.

Transfer Senator Jacob Wisdom said he feels that the change would be more appropriate to take place in Fall Quarter 2013 so students hoping to transfer have more time to prepare and raise their GPAs accordingly.

Brown said she felt the new requirement will not detract from the diversity efforts, which included changing from a comprehensive review admissions system to holistic review this year. The holistic admissions process factors in the opportunities that were available to the applicant.

Wisdom said he thinks the change will affect diversity initially, but that it will not be a long-term impediment to increasing enrollment from students of underrepresented groups.

“While the number of TAG-eligible minority applicants may dip in the short-run, I believe in the years to come the increasing prestige of UCSD and the continued diversity efforts on campus will work to attract more qualified minority applicants than ever before,” Wisdom said.

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