Fear not, your transfer guide is here

[McClatchy-Tribune Media Services] The application process seems stressful, but with the proper planning and the right tools this mountain can be conquered.

It’s that time of year again.  The leaves are changing, the weather is finally cooling down, and students are preparing applications and personal statements for their school of choice. But is it really that easy? Can one simply just apply or should students be more concerned about this whole application process?

“Applying seems like it would be a long process,” said 20-year-old psychology major Stephanie Miramontez, “I’m afraid of not getting them in on time.”

In reality applying to school is not the hard part.

The thing that tends to hold students back from actually accomplishing their transferring goals, is a lack of knowledge about the application process as a whole.

What students fail to realize is that it takes a lot more than simply just applying to be accepted to any Cal State or University of California.

There are minimum requirements for both the Cal State and the UC system, and each system has its own specific set of requirements of their own.

For example, if a student wants to apply to a Cal State they need to be sure that their GPA is a minimum of 2.4; where at the UC level, the minimum GPA required for a glance at your application is a 3.2.

However GPA does change depending on each school’s own personal criteria.

So where should students start, and more importantly where should they turn for answers about transferring?

Making an appointment with a Career and Transfer counselor is probably the best place to begin the application journey.

Over the course of a 30 minute meeting, counselors lay out an academic plan which lists all classes associated with a student’s preferred major, as well as the general education courses required to transfer.

Counselors use a website called assist.org to look up class equivalency between Citrus and the desired UC or Cal State campus associated with the students desired major.

After meeting with a counselor, it is important for students to personally look into the general education requirements needed to transfer.

Students can also access assist.org on their own to help them with this process.

Not only would this give them a better understanding of what they need to accomplish in the allotted time frame set by their counselor but it would also allow them to check and double check their progress throughout the different semesters.

Students who thoroughly understand the general education requirements put themselves ahead of the game.

They know they will need to complete two transferable college courses in English composition (ENG 101 and ENG 103), one transferable college course in mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning (MATH 165 or higher), and four transferable college courses chosen from at least two of the following subject areas: arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences and physical and biological sciences before transferring.

After completing their general education courses, students then need to begin their lower division core classes.

Say a student wants to go get a bachelor’s degree in art history from UCLA, they would need to take classes offered here at Citrus that would be the equivalent to the lower division pre-major classes offered at UCLA, in addition to their general education classes.

Perhaps the most important factor to discuss is meeting the application deadline.

Between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30 students should be starting, completing and submitting their applications to the school of their choice for fall admittance the following year.

For a student who wants to transfer to Cal Poly Pomona for the fall of 2013, they would need to apply for admission between Oct.1 and Nov. 30 during the fall of 2012 to be considered for acceptance the following year.

Students should also make a conscious effort to attend the College Fair and takes advantage of resources it offers.

Every fall and spring semester Citrus designates a day for Cal State, UC and private school representatives to set up tables in the campus mall where they can provide information and answers to any and all questions or concerns students may have regarding their particular college.

“Citrus College always does an excellent job with their transfer fair,” said Gretchen Anderson, the admission and outreach advisor from Cal Poly Pomona, “they are always on their game.”

Although it seems like a stressful time of year for students, it’s important to remember that the resources for your success are out there.

“The college fair was really helpful,” said 20-year-old childhood development major Angie Mastroleo, “I learned a lot about Cal State LA that made me much more confident in my application process.”

Transfer success relies on many different factors. Setting up an appointment with a counselor with a great way to start and being well informed is also significant.

“It’s important to stay competitive” said Anderson, “because of the California budget crisis; we’re changing the way we do business.”