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Choosing between a CSU or a UC

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By Sue Carmichael
Staff Writer

Here you are again, a community college student, faced with another important decision before graduating.

This time you are contemplating whether or not to enroll in a California State University or University of California and which type of transfer to choose.

Surely, other students found this decision frustrating.

You can relate. One minute your research on transfers went smooth as silk and then in the next breath, frustration overtook the moment. You lost your internet connection, closed a tab by mistake or you found conflicting information.

Financial concerns loomed overhead like a black cloud. Everything seemed to go wrong. Now what?

Beyond deciding upon a major and money issues, knowing the difference between a CSU and a UC while also knowing their transfer requirements is critical.

Why should a student even consider using a transfer? What is the difference between a CSU and UC and their relevant transfers?

The Master Plan for Higher Education, established from the 2010 Senate Bill 1440 (Padilla, 2010) specifies CSUs and UCs offers priority admission to eligible California Community Colleges-Associate Degree for Transfer students.

CSU’s use the CCC-ADT as a mode of guaranteed transfer into a four year college while UC’s use the TAG to bring students to their schools.

The CCC-ADT is an Associate Degree of Arts or Science and are “strictly used for transfer to a CSU,” Lisa Wearda said, a north county counselor.

Earning an A.A. or A.S. is a mid-way goal and a less expensive path to accomplishing a bachelor’s degree. Successful students are granted admission as juniors and the assurance of the potential to earn a baccalaureate within 120 units.

However, the UC system was established as the focal point for academic and scientific research within the higher education system. In addition to receiving a bachelor’s or master’s degrees, the UC grants doctorates and professional degrees.

Six of the nine UC campuses offer the TAG. Prospective UC students can utilize the UC Transfer Admission Planner to plan and track their progress.

Either path you choose, the best advice is start with your own research to gain knowledge, meet with a counselor early on, ask for research tools and be sure your transcript reflects your intention to transfer.