Students seek out transfer opportunities

Students gather in the quad to learn about the various colleges present during Transfer Day. (Sean Lara)

Sarah Black

College and university representatives came from all over the country to answer questions at Saddleback’s Transfer Day Sept. 29. This annual event welcomes nearly 70 colleges and universities including locals like California State University Fullerton and University of California Los Angeles as well as cross-country schools like Cornell University and University of Hawaii.

Julie Cahill, an international admissions counselor representing University of Montana, has been visiting to California for five years.  The number of California applicants to University of Montana has tripled, which she believes is due to the university’s location and economic value.

While tuition has increased in California, more students are finding better options going out o state, Cahill said. Scholarships like the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE), which pays more than half of tuition, are giving students variety and flexibility.

But not all colleges are open to new students. Cal State Fullerton recently announced a full major impaction. All majors offered by CSUF will be limited and cut down effective fall 2011.

Despite this, there has been an 80 percent increase in applicants.

“You say you’re impacted and everyone wants to come,” said Barbara Schiller, a representative for CSUF. “Eligibility requirements have become stricter.”

When once in-area students could be accepted with a 2.0 minimum grade point average, that may no longer be the case. Academic merit will play a bigger role in being accepted to CSUF, said Schiller.

Matthew Dunlevie, 19, biomedical engineering, was already impacted when he learned at Transfer Day that University of California San Diego (UCSD) no longer offers his major.

“All bio-science and engineering majors have been impacted by the respective departments’ ability to graduate students,” said Debbie O’Hagar,

UCSD admissions and relations. Getting into UCSD is now competitive as needing a 3.0 GPA minimum.

But transferring locally is the decision some students decide to take due to financial woes. Mahtab Namakian, 18, undecided, is looking for a college with a nearby location for financial reasons.

“I really want to go to Chapman, but I can only go if I get scholarships,” Katie Anderson, 22, journalism, said. With issues like location and finances, transferring is a confusing process, she said, “I have no idea what to do.”

Transfer Day enabled the opportunity for students to find out much information on colleges and universities.

“I feel like the Transfer Center doesn’t have enough outlets to get information I need,” said Lauren Meyer, 20, history of public policy. “Information is scattered.”

The benefit of Transfer Day is that it provided close-up and more personal interviews with students’ preferred college choices.

“We wanted to give students the opportunity to talk to schools from in-state privates and out-of-state privates, as well as UCs and state schools,” said Barbara Benavides, senior transfer center specialist.

So while the college representatives have gone home, information can still be gathered at the Transfer Center located in the Classroom Cluster (CC) building Room 1, between the SSC and BGS buildings. Visit them on the Web at

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