UCI cancels guaranteed admission for future ULink and SAC Promise students

UCI transfer counseling office
Transfer Center Specialist Lorena Alvarez assisting sophomore Arthur Mederos. Photo by: Daniela Derramadero// el Don

Reporting by Sophia Cortez and Daniela Derramadero

Listen to the accompanying podcast where student reporters, Sophia Cortez and Daniela Derramadero, discuss their experience with the transfer process at SAC. 

When community social services major Luis Linares first heard the news last month that the University of California Irvine would not honor his guaranteed admission, he was stressed. “I was bummed out. That door closed on me.”

Santa Ana College students received an email on Sept. 26 confirming that UCI will continue to honor the guaranteed admission for SAC Promise, Santa Ana Unified School District graduates and University Link students. 

UCI officials stated that transfer students who were in the Fall 2019 to Fall 2022 cohorts will be admitted and continue to be held at a minimum of a 3.2 grade point average.

“The new GPA for the guarantee reflects the growing selectivity and demand at the UCI campus.” said UCI’s Director of Internal and Critical Communications Sheri Ledbetter.

Students who join either program in the Fall of 2023 will not receive this guaranteed admission to UCI anymore.  

Ledbetter says, “We’re continuing to work on the best way to bring ULink into alignment with our statewide transfer admission guarantee.” 

Students who are affected by this can apply for the state-wide Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) towards UCI. With TAG, GPA requirements may vary and certain majors are excluded

The TAG application allows students to select any one of the six UC campuses for a guaranteed spot, excluding the University of California Los Angeles, the University of California Berkeley, and the University of California San Diego. 

After working with both programs for over 20 years, students received an email on Aug. 31, on behalf of the Dean of Counseling, Maria Dela Cruz, that their guaranteed admission with UCI will no longer be honored effective by Fall 2023 and onward.

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UCI’s decision to discontinue the agreement with SAC led counselors to encourage students to submit a TAG application. This action made students have only one admission guaranteed rather than two.  

Due to a lack of communication from UCI, many students alongside Linares were confused as to what this meant for their academic future. SAC counselors took the initiative and decided to hold workshops on campus for students whose transfer plans were affected by this decision.  

“I made a big effort to get the highest GPA I possibly could and now I feel like all my hard work was thrown out the window. I wanted the guarantee because that’s what they promised me.” said sophomore Denise Ramirez. 

UCI held a one-day TAG transfer preparation event on Sept. 23. Both SAC and Santiago Canyon College students were invited to receive help in tagging any of the eligible UCs of their liking, as well as help with filling out their personal insight questions.

Following further conversations between SAC and UCI, students were notified the week of the TAG deadline, Sept. 30, that UCI would fulfill their guaranteed admission. Students who already tagged UCI were emailed by counselor Leo Pastrana and ULink coordinator Courtney Beirne to withdraw the TAG application.   

“I ended up tagging UC Davis. Now I have two guaranteed admissions. Two options.” said Linares. 

Students received help to withdraw from UCI this past week from the University Transfer Center staff. By withdrawing their TAG from UCI, students had the opportunity to select a different UC campus, along with the guaranteed transfer to UCI.

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